Italian watchdog ordered to repay €1m to TicketOne
The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) has been ordered to return €1 million to TicketOne, as well as refund all legal expenses, after an Italian court rejected earlier claims by AGCM the company had not done enough to prevent the resale of its tickets on the secondary market.
TicketOne, owned by Germany’s CTS Eventim, was fined €1m last April for allegedly failing to take adequate measures to prevent tickets getting into the hands of touts. The competition watchdog found that while that while TicketOne is “contractually bound to adopt anti-touting measures, [it] did not take appropriate steps to prevent bulk buying through specialist software, nor has it tried to limit multiple purchases or set up a system of ex-post controls to cancel them”.
Four secondary ticketing sites – Viagogo, MyWayTicket, Live Nation’s Seatwave and eBay/StubHub’s Ticketbis – were additionally hit with a collective €700,000 fine for their failure to provide complete ticket information to customers.
However, in a ruling on Friday (2 March), the regional administrative court of Lazio, sided with TicketOne’s argument that it has “always operated with utmost care and diligence, and that its business conduct did not favour the secondary market”, and ordered AGCM to refund the the €1m, along with its legal costs.
“The ruling underlines that our company has always operated with transparency and professionalism”
“We have always distanced ourselves from unlawful and speculative business practices that occur within the secondary ticketing market,” says Stefano Lionetti, CEO of TicketOne. “Therefore, we are very satisfied that the court confirmed that the allegations made against us were wrongful.
“Over and above, the ruling underlines that our company has always operated with transparency and professionalism.”
While TicketOne says it already has “high security standards in place” to prevent automated software, or bots, from bulk-buying its tickets, it has announce plans to “expand on its efforts” against speculative ticket resale. The company “asks fans and concertgoers not to purchase tickets from secondary market sites and to only make use of licensed ticket sellers and official dealers.”
TicketOne parent company CTS Eventim has been investing heavily in Italy recently, last month making its third acquisition – of promoter Di and Gi – in five months.
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