Live Nation, Seatwave and Viagogo have been banned from reselling tickets for this summer’s U2 concerts in Italy by a Rome court.

The Civil Court of Rome told the companies they are not allowed to directly or indirectly sell tickets for the July 15 and 16 gigs on the secondary market. They will be fined €2,000 for any tickets that are resold.

The court ruling follows a case brought in January by the Italian Society of Authors and Publishers (SIAE) music industry group. The court acted on the provisions of paragraphs 545 and 546 of Article 1 of the 2017 Law of Financial Statements, which allows for action to be taken against those selling tickets without the consent of the rights holders.

The ruling was welcomed by Gaetano Blandini, SIAE’s director general, who said it should serve as a warning to resellers looking to profit from popular concerts.

He said: “The motivation of the court is very effective and beneficial for our struggle against the phenomenon.

“We will continue to fight at all locations on the secondary market. The activity is also recognised by the judiciary as seriously detrimental to the economic rights of authors and consumers’ rights and their interests.”

Widespread scalping

When launching the complaint at the time of U2 tickets going on sale in January, SIAE said it filed the petition “to protect both the rights of its members and consumers who find themselves also pay up to 10 times more than the entry ticket on the parallel market”.

Official seller TicketOne employed PwC to monitor the sale of U2 tickets and cancelled the sale of 3,186 tickets deemed “suspicious” as it fought to prevent the widespread scalping of tickets.

Fans in Italy were furious last year when Coldplay and Bruce Springsteen tickets sold out within minutes, but were soon being resold at huge mark-ups on secondary sites. Live Nation Italy chief executive Roberto De Luca then admitted on a television show that his company passes tickets to reselling sites. After a number of investigations into the industry were announced, legislation to sanction against the reselling of tickets in Italy was passed by Parliament at the end of 2016.

Two months ago, TicketOne was fined €1m by the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) after an investigation into the secondary ticketing market. AGCM also handed out fines totalling €700,000 to Seatwave, Viagogo Ticketbis and Mywayticket.

Image: Ezequiel Español