Roberto De Luca, president of the Italian division of Live Nation, and D’Alessandro e Galli chief executive Mimmo D’Alessandro have expressed satisfaction at a court ruling acquitting them of all wrongdoing in a case alleging that their companies profited from illegally inflating concert ticket prices, stating that the verdict proved the integrity of their business practices.
Tribunale di Milano judge Maria Vicidomini has acquitted De Luca and Live Nation Italia director general Antonella Lodi, along with a further three defendants – D’Alessandro; Charles Roest of Viagogo and Corrado Rizzotto, former CEO of Vivo Concerti, today a manager at Live Nation.
The Italian promoters had been accused of conspiring with Viagogo to “remove tickets from the market” and resell them at inflated prices. The investigation by prosecutor Adriano Scudieri concerned a presumed deception for the online sale of concert tickets, including those for Bruce Springsteen and Coldplay tours, at increased prices, which would have resulted in revenues from 2011 to 2016 of over €1m (£880,000/$1.13m).
The five defendants were accused of “fraud against the state” for not having paid taxes and performance royalties in full, in what had been described as “insider trading.” The executives were accused of selling tickets at inflated prices and spreading “false information causing an alteration of the market,” following an investigation that began two years ago.
Commenting on the resolution of the case, De Luca told Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore: “Two very difficult years are ending, but I am happy because in our group we have always worked according to our own methods.
“The worst thing I’ve seen was the attempt made by some of my competitors to take advantage of the media hype of the investigation to wrestle artists from me. But our artists understood and stayed with us.”
D’Alessandro added: “We have always confided in the regular course of justice. Time, as it used to be said, is a gentleman and reaffirms the dignity of a working group that has always been committed to the promotion of musical culture to the widest audience of enthusiasts.”