An Italian court has rejected an appeal from Viagogo against a €3.7 million (£3.2m) fine for hosting tickets sold in contravention of Italian law.
The judgment, which was handed down by the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio, upholds a 2020 ruling brought by Italian Communications Regulatory Authority AGCOM sanctioning Viagogo for listing tickets to 37 events at above face value between March and July 2019.
Italy’s 2017 Budget law states that tickets for entertainment events must only be sold by authorised ticket providers. However, consumers are permitted to sell unwanted tickets for a price equal to or less than the ticket’s face value.
The judges rejected Viagogo’s argument that it was acting as a “passive hosting provider” by merely connecting resellers with potential buyers, which would exempt the resale platform from liability under Italian law. Instead, Viagogo was found to provide a range of services and promote and advertise tickets in a way that could not be considered to be carried out without any awareness or control on its part.
This important ruling is another step towards greater accountability of secondary ticketing platforms.
FEAT director Sam Shemtob said: “Uncapped secondary marketplaces such as Viagogo have long been shielding under the liability exemption offered by EU law by claiming to have little to no knowledge of the activity taking place on their sites. It is time that they’re held responsible for the illegal activity they promote and profit from, both in Italy and across Europe.”