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Austrian Supreme Court rules against secondary sites

Austria’s supreme court has ordered ticket resale site Viagogo to better inform its buyers about the identity of ticket sellers, and the type of ticket being sold, before a purchase is made.

The 5 May ruling by the Supreme Court of Justice (Oberster Gerichtshof, OGH) forces Viagogo.at and other Viagogo websites – as well as other secondary ticketing sites selling in Austria – to disclose the identity of ticket sellers, including name and address, and whether tickets are personalised, ahead of ticket purchase.

The verdict also means that for the first time, customers in Austria are protected from losses caused by misleading information or the absence of essential information by sellers, such as travel costs when access to the show is denied.

Furthermore, if Viagogo doesn’t ensure sellers’ compliance with the registration and the disclosure of their identities, the platform itself would be held accountable.

Until now, tickets on secondary platforms operating in Austria were sold anonymously, with buyers not informed when tickets were personalised, leading to them often being denied access to events.

“The verdict is a remarkable step towards a fairer secondary market in Austria”

The case against Viagogo was brought by the trade body for sports and leisure companies of the Upper Austrian Chamber of Commerce, through competition protection group WSV (Wettbewerbsschutzverband). The basis for the lawsuit was the “significantly inflated” prices for tickets sold on Viagogo.at for cabaret events by Monika Gruber and Viktor Gernot, promoted by events agency Stage.

“The verdict is a remarkable step towards a fairer secondary market in Austria, as it not only forces ticketing transparency, but places responsibility at the feet of the platforms themselves,” says a spokesperson for the Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT).

Linz-based competition law expert Johannes Hintermayr provided WSV’s legal representation.

“Congratulations to Dr Hintermayr and the WSV, who have led this extraordinary fight, and let it be one step of many towards the creation of an ethical market – which is all the more important in getting the industry back on its feet post Covid-19.”


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