Viagogo, a prominent ticket-resale website, has successfully defended itself against a staggering €1 million ($1.13 million) fine that was issued by Italy’s Autorita Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM).
The fine, which totaled more than $340,000 when issued in April of 2017, was later bumped up to the aforementioned number.
The London-based ticket-resale business, which was founded in 2006, vigorously denied the charges made by the AGCM, including that Viagogo is legally obligated to inform consumers of tickets’ face values and the specific seating areas that they provide access to.
Viagogo’s appeal was heard by the Council of State, which stated that Viagogo is not responsible for the information provided by each third-party user — i.e., the ticket reseller. Had Viagogo been unable to overturn the ruling, it’s possible that other sales websites, including Amazon and eBay, would have become liable for the details offered — or not offered— by their users.
Viagogo released a statement that claimed, in effect, satisfaction with the ruling, and a legitimate desire to work closely with the AGCM to protect Italian consumers moving forward.
TicketOne, the leading provider of tickets in Italy, denounced the overturned fine and stated that they would work tirelessly to assure that the AGCM applies consumer-protection laws to secondary ticket-resale sites. TicketOne is based out of Italy and was founded in 1998.
It’ll be interesting to see whether or not TicketOne is able to reverse this appeal. In the meantime, it looks as though the many customers who use Viagogo can rest easy. Furthermore, as was alluded to, Viagogo’s victory in the Italian courts is also a victory for each and every website that allows third-party users to sell items. It’d be exponentially more difficult to operate if all user-posted product listings had to be checked for accuracy and specificity.
Of course, this remains a fluid situation, with Viagogo facing heavy scrutiny — and downright hate — from European consumers, regulators, and competitors.