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NZ Commission loses injunction request against Viagogo

The New Zealand Commerce Commission’s injunction against Switzerland-based Viagogo claiming it had breached the Fair Trading Act has failed.

The High Court in Auckland ruled that the controversial ticketing site had not been formally served notice, meaning the injunction request was lost.

The Commission is arguing that Viagogo stated it is an official seller but is actually a resale site. It also contends that it made misleading claims about the availability of tickets, and advertised incorrect pricing for tickets.

Aaron Lloyd, the lawyer representing Viagogo, told the court that once formally served, the company intended to argue that the court had no jurisdiction over the company, which is based in Switzerland, does business online, and has no New Zealand office.

The judge Patricia Courtney said, according to the Stuff news website: “Formal service in Switzerland will, apparently, take some six months.”

An interim injunction, which the commission sought until Viagogo had been formally served, was also denied.

Viagogo told TheTicketingBusiness.com in an email: “We are pleased by the Court’s ruling to deny the Commission’s application for relief. This is a significant legal victory for Viagogo. For over a decade, millions of customers have been successfully using Viagogo which is why we remain committed to providing a secure platform for people to sell as well as buy sport, music and entertainment tickets to events in New Zealand and all over the world.”

Courtney said in her ruling today (Monday): “The Commission alleges that the Viagogo website falsely represents that it is an official ticket seller for events in New Zealand but, in fact, is not retained as an official ticket seller by promoters of events in New Zealand.

“The Commission alleges that Viagogo represents that the number of tickets available are very limited, which is false and misleading because there are tickets available through official ticket sellers.

“The Commission alleges that Viagogo represents that the tickets it sells are valid when, in fact, many of the tickets it sells are invalid, including because they have already been sold or are forgeries.

“The Commission alleges that Viagogo only shows the true cost of the tickets (with fees) at a very late stage in the buying process and pressures vulnerable consumers into making hasty decisions by leading them to believe that tickets are selling out.”

Image: Pxhere