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CTS facing €1m revenue impact after ticket fee defeat

CTS Eventim has told investors to expect a “limited” decline in revenue of around €1 million in its 2018 financial results, after Germany’s highest court ruled the ticket seller could not continue to charge a €2.50 fee on print-at-home tickets.

Eventim took its case to the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) in Karlsruhe following defeats in the district court of Bremen, then the higher regional court of Bremen, in September 2016 and June 2017, respectively.

OLG upholds ban on self-printed ticket fees

The BGH ruling brings to an end the legal tussle between the company and the North Rhine-Westphalian Consumer Association (NRW) in Germany, although a similar lawsuit has yet to be settled in neighbouring Austria. Canadian promoter Evenko is similarly facing legal action in Quebec for charging ‘delivery’ fees on digital tickets.

“CTS Eventim acknowledges the BGH judgment and will implement it accordingly”

In a statement, an Eventim spokesperson says the decision will have “only a moderate financial impact”, as the ruling is “confined to ticket orders for which a print@home fee of €2.50 is charged”. “These,” they add, “represent a mere thousandth of group revenue” – around €1m.

While downplaying the financial impact of the ruling, the company says it could have a negative impact on its venue partners. “Proceeds from print@home make it possible for numerous venues in Germany” – many of which are publicly owned – “to offer their visitors an additional, very convenient and secure option for gaining admission,” adds the spokesperson.

“CTS Eventim acknowledges the BGH judgment and will implement it accordingly,” the company’s statement concludes. “As soon as the detailed grounds for judgment are released, the company will make the appropriate adjustments to its [print-at-home] Ticketdirect service.”

 


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Fees on self-print tickets unlawful, court rules

Charging service fees on print-at-home tickets should be outlawed, a German court has ruled.

Handing victory to the North Rhine-Westphalian Consumer Association (Verbraucherzentrale NRW) in its lawsuit against CTS Eventim, the district court of Bremen found service charges on self-printed tickets to be “inadmissible” (unzulässig) and ruled Eventim may only charge extra fees on tickets for postage costs.

The judgment, which is not yet legally binding, was a “test case”, says the Verbraucherzentrale, and opens the door for legal action against six other online ticket agencies – ADticket, Ticketmaster, ReserviX, easyticket, BonnTicket and D-Ticket – which it has “warned” against charging similar fees.

Should the judgment be upheld, Eventim may be required to reimburse customers for ticket fees

Eventim currently offers ‘print @ home’ and ‘ticketdirect’ options for ticket delivery, both of which are printed by the customer, for a €2.50 fee.

Should Eventim not appeal the verdict, or a higher court uphold the judgment, the Munich-based company may be required to reimburse customers, says lawyer Thomas Waetke, citing section 812 of the German civil code, which states that “those who gain at the expense of another […] are obliged to make restitution”.

A spokesman for Eventim tells IQ the company does intend to appeal the court’s “materially incorrect” ruling.

 


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