Industry News

French Tennis Federation hails Viagogo court ruling

The French Tennis Federation (FFT) has welcomed a court ruling against Viagogo, in which it ruled that it was illegal for the resale market to list tickets for the French Open grand slam tournament at Roland-Garros.

The court stated that FFT is the sole legal seller of tickets for such tournaments and that Viagogo must immediately stop offering French Open tickets.

In addition, the ticketing firm must pay €60,000 ($73,000/£52,000) in compensation to the FFT, along with a €15,000 fine.

The FFT said in a statement reported by the SportBuzzBusiness website: “The judge… clearly recognised that the FFT enjoys a monopoly of operating sports events it organises, including the Roland Garros tournament and its ticketing. He draws the conclusion that the offer to sell tickets to attend the Roland-Garros tournament on the site is a clearly unlawful act to the detriment of the FFT.

“The TGI also admitted that the Viagogo companies, who had used the Roland-Garros brand to offer tickets for the Roland-Garros tournament on the website, violated the rights of the FFT on the Roland-Garros brand.”

François Lhospitalier, legal and compliance director for the FFT, added: “A few weeks before the start of the 2018 edition of the tournament, this order will therefore effectively fight against the illicit resale of tickets for Roland-Garros on the Viagogo website.

“This conviction echoes those obtained by the LFP (French Football League) and the FFF (French Football Federation) against Viagogo in similar cases. It illustrates the FFT’s desire to firmly fight against any illicit sale of tickets for the events it organises, such as the Roland-Garros tournament and the Rolex Paris Masters.”

Earlier this month, Viagogo was handed a €1m fine by the Italian antitrust body AGCM for misleading consumers and unfair commercial practices.

The action dates back to April 2017, when the AGCM found that was harming consumers by failing to indicate the face value of a ticket being resold, the seat number of the ticket and misleading people on the total ticket price.

Image: Yann Caradec