On April 13, 2017, the Italian Competition Authority concluded five investigations concerned Ticketone SpA,Seatwave, Viagogo Ticketbis, e Mywayticket, related to the online sale of tickets for the main concerts held in Italy in recent years (such as One Direction, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bruce Springsteen, Renato Zero, Adele, David Gilmour, Coldplay, U2 and Ed Sheeran), and found that the traders infringed on purpose articles no. 20, 21 and 22 of Consumer Code for unfair commercial practices. Therefore, the Italian Competition Authority fined the traders for the total amount of 1,7 million euros.
The Italian Competition Authority launched the first investigation concerned Ticketone SpA, the exclusive online distributor for main events since 2002, offering tickets on the primary market at prices set by promoters on behalf of performers, because several consumers complained that concert tickets would quickly sell out on the primary market, and become immediately available on the secondary market at inflated prices.
The investigation aimed to establish whether the trader exercised the proper duty of care, in light of its exclusive rights for online sales and the contractual obligations attached thereto. Hence, the investigation revealed that ticket touting for the most important entertainment events in Italy stemmed also from the procedures Ticketone adopted for its online sales. Indeed, while it was contractually bound to adopt anti-touting measures, Ticketone did not take appropriate steps to prevent bulk buying through specialist software, nor has it tried to limit multiple purchases or set up a system of ex post controls to cancel them. According to the Authority, Ticketone did not operate under the requirements of fairness and good faith, infringing article 20(2) of the Consumer Code. Therefore, the company was fined one million euros.
In addition, the Italian Competition Authority investigated players on the online secondary market, such as Seatwave, Viagogo Ticketbis, e Mywayticket, related to the information concerning the ticket features, including their face value, the row and the seat, as well as consumer rights in case of the event’s cancellation. These platforms usually provided incomplete or incorrect information to consumers. In addition, the websites failed to clarify to the Italian Competition Authority that these traders were mere intermediaries on the secondary market.
Therefore, the Authority found that the traders at stake infringed articles 20, 21 and 22 on Consumer Code on unfair commercial practices, and imposed fines totaling 700,000 euros.