Italian communications regulator AGCOM has fined Viagogo €23.5 million for violating the country’s secondary ticketing rules.
The decision, taken at an AGCOM Board meeting last week, follows an investigation by Italy’s financial crime agency, the Guardia di Finanza, which found that the platform secondary box office had listed tickets for 131 events at prices up to six or seven times their face. assess.
Events included concerts by artists such as Maneskin, Vasco Rossi, Sting, Green Day, Dua Lipa, Pearl Jam, Placebo, Cesare Cremonini, Paolo Conte and Andrea Bocelli.
An amendment to Italian law, introduced in the Italian finance law of 2017 to criminalize the sale of tickets, prevents the sale of tickets for commercial purposes or above their face value.
“The authority points out that the practice of secondary ticketing has the effect of inflating ticket prices, increasing the barriers to access by consumers and Italian citizens to cultural events, also to the detriment of the community of artists, organizers events and major retailers. concludes AGCOM. “This is particularly relevant at an important time for the events industry to get back live, following the forced hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Legislation across Europe – both at national and European level – is catching up with ticket traffic”
AGCOM gave Viagogo seven days to remove the illegal ads from its site, and the European Ticketing Alliance (FEAT) came out in favor of the authority’s decision.
“This is a substantial fine for Viagogo and a clear obligation to remove illegal listings within seven days,” said FEAT director Sam Shemtob.
“What is particularly encouraging is the thorough investigation carried out by the Italian financial crime agency in close collaboration with the Italian regulator AGCOM. Legislation across Europe – both at national and European level – is catching up with ticket traffic. If other law enforcement authorities follow Italy’s lead, the hope for a functioning ticket resale market, with scalping largely relegated to the history books, could become a reality.
The course of action comes just over a month after the full Australian Federal Court dismissed an appeal by Viagogo against a ruling that the platform made misleading claims on its website regarding the resale of concert tickets and sport.
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