Dusseldorf court confirms ban on CTS’s Four Artists acquisition
A Dusseldorf court has rejected an appeal by CTS Eventim that sought to overturn the block on its acquisition of German promoter Four Artists.
Eventim, Europe’s largest ticket agency, announced in March 2017 it planned to acquire Four Artists, a Berlin-based promoter and booking agency which organises more than 2,000 shows annually, as well as a number of festivals, to bolster its events division.
The acquisition was unexpectedly torpedoed that November by Germany’s competition watchdog, the Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt), which ruled that the merger would substantially lessen competition by strengthening CTS Eventim’s already dominant market position.
A CTS Eventim spokesperson confirmed to IQ at the time it would appeal the decision, and later did so, seeking legal redress in the German court system.
However, in in a decision handed down late last week, the Higher Regional Court of Dusseldorf (Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf) dismissed the company’s appeal, siding with the Cartel Office. A spokesperson tells MusikWoche Eventim will consider the court’s verdict before deciding whether to reappeal.
CTS Eventim lost its appeal against a ban on charging fees on print-at-home tickets in another OLG, in Bremen, in August.
Another legal defeat for ticket fees in Austria
Another judge has sided with the Austrian Consumers’ Association (VKI) in its legal dispute with CTS Eventim over the fees it levies on print-at-home tickets.
In August Vienna Commercial Court, a court of first instance, found that the fees on tickets sold via CTS’s oeticket website, which charges €2.50 for ‘print @ home’ and mobile tickets and €1.90 for those picked up from branches of Libro or oeticket’s own box offices, are “unusual and disadvantageous” for consumers and inadmissible under Austrian law.
“We hope in the interest of consumers this judgment will be final”
The lawsuit by VKI against CTS Eventim last week reached the Higher Regional Court of Vienna (Oberlandesgericht Wien, OLG), which on 5 December similarly ruled the fees to be illegal, although the verdict is not yet legally binding.
According to VKI, the OLG took particular exception to the fact oeticket does not offer a fee-free delivery option, leaving the consumer with no option but to pay them.
“We hope in the interest of ticket buyers that this judgment will be final, meaning consumers are [finally] able to purchase tickets without these additional costs,” says VKI lawyer Joachim Kogelmann.
OLG upholds ban on self-printed ticket fees
A German appeals court has upheld the ban on charging fees on print-at-home tickets, quashing an appeal by CTS Eventim.
Munich-based Eventim told IQ last September it intended to appeal against a ruling that declared as unlawful the €2.50 fee the company charges on its ‘print @ home’ tickets.
However, the Higher Regional Court of Bremen (Hanseatisches Oberlandesgericht, OLG) yesterday sided with Bremen district court, which passed the original judgment, declaring the €2.50 charge for self-printed tickets – as well as the €29.90 charge for ‘premium shipping’, which also includes a processing fee of an indeterminate amount – found in Eventim’s terms and conditions to be “invalid”.
“processing fees should be included in the so-called normal price of the ticket”
The company was also ordered to pay all legal costs.
A press release from the OLG (pictured) confirms its view that “processing fees should be included in the so-called normal price of the ticket”.
The court did, however, grant CTS Eventim permission to appeal the case once more: this time to the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) in Karlsruhe, effectively Germany’s supreme court.
In a statement provided to IQ, Eventim says it intends to do so: “The OLG has recognised the fundamental nature of the issue and has approved a revision before the BGH. We have appealed against the OLG’s verdict and assume that it will not stand before the BGH.”
Photo: © Ajepbah / Wikimedia Commons /