IQ Magazine article
Italy’s Communications Regulatory Authority AGCOM has fined Viagogo more than €12 million for breaking the country’s laws on secondary ticketing.
By Lisa Henderson
Preliminary evidence found that the secondary ticketing platform had listed tickets for 68 events held in 2022 at prices 10 times above their face value.
Events included concerts for artists such as Måneskin, Blanco, Renato Zero and Cirque du Soleil.
An amendment to Italian legislation, introduced to Italy’s 2017 budget law to criminalise ticket touting, prevents tickets being sold for commercial purposes or for above face value.
Since 2020, Switzerland-headquartered Viagogo has been sanctioned three other times in Italy for breaking the law against ticket touting.
“THE TIME HAS COME FOR THE EU’S OWN CONSUMER PROTECTION COOPERATION NETWORK TO TAKE ACTION”
Commenting on the ruling against Viagogo, Barley Arts promoter and prominent anti-secondary ticketing campaigner, Claudio Trotta, says, “Anyone in the entertainment business should be more than happy. However, I hope this [fine] will be paid and not cancelled for a second time by other institutions, as already happened in previous cases of fines in Italy.
“Secondary ticketing is a crime, thanks to the law obliging the use of nominal tickets. If controlled seriously by security and ushers, it’s is a win-win situation for all.”
Telling IQ he remains concerned about what impact dynamic pricing might have if it is introduced in the Italian market, Trotta adds, “The future is unwritten but it depends on us all – artists, promoters, managers, agents and the audience. I am still, and always, a true believer in the strength of human beings – if we are able to keep our humanity, of course. Let’s see…”
Sam Shemtob, director of Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT), adds: “It’s encouraging to see this action in Italy, which is proof positive that it’s possible to both adopt and enforce a tough stance on uncapped ticket resale. With over 40 major ticket resale cases taking place across the EU since 2016, the time has come for the EU’s own Consumer Protection Cooperation Network to take action.”
The president of Italy’s National Consumer Union, Massimiliano Dona, comments: “It is incredible that tickets continue to be sold with prices even 10 times higher than the actual ones, despite the numerous condemnations by the Authorities and the intervention of the legislator who has however put a stop to these intolerable and hateful speculations. Anyone who goes to a concert has the sacrosanct right to pay the right price for the ticket, without unjustified and illegal top-ups.”
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