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Viagogo resale law challenge rejected in France

Viagogo’s challenge against France’s anti-secondary ticketing law has been rejected by the Constitutional Council, which works to maintain the constitutionality of legislation.

The Constitutional Council rejected the contest disputing the legality of French legislation that prohibits unauthorised ticket touting.

Currently, France can hand out fines of up to €30,000 for touting at events in which there is no permission from the event organiser or rightsholder.

Viagogo brought forward the challenge and was supported by StubHub-owned Ticketbis.

The resellers argument states that to restrict reselling tickets constitutes a “disproportionate breach of freedom of enterprise.” However, the Constitutional Council claims that it “must be made possible to combat […] an artificial increase in the price of tickets”, and continues that resale is only prohibited if it “takes place without the authorisation of the producer, organiser of the owner of the rights” to the show.

The Council added that as the law “does not violate any other right or freedom guaranteed by the constitution, it must be declared [constitutional].”

UEFA, FIFA, the French Rugby Federation (FFR), French Tennis Federation (FFT), and the Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music (Sacem), have welcomed the decision.

FFT general director Jean-François Vilotte told AFP: “These companies are incorporating civil penalties (damages) into their business plans and they are doing everything to make enforcement of sanctions extremely difficult, by setting up in countries where they are hard to reach. Penal sanctions are more destabilising.”

Image: PXhere