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TicketOne threatens watchdog after ‘failure’ to enforce resale law

Italian primary ticketing service TicketOne has threatened to take action against the country’s competition regulator AGCM unless it enforces laws designed to constrain the secondary market.

In a formal letter to Autorita’ Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM), the CTS Eventim-owned ticketing firm has warned it will refer the watchdog to Italy’s Judicial Authority for the “failure” to implement laws that tackle touting.

The act, which came into force on January 1, provides for specific sanctions and interventions when tickets are being resold at prices above face value.

The letter comes after a previous petition attempt in March, during which TicketOne’s chief executive Stefano Lionetti said that the act had the potential to defeat online scalping – if the measures are fully implemented by the authority.

The TicketOne letter reads: “TicketOne notes that, despite the time elapsed since the presentation of the (March) complaint and AGCM’s reported start of activities, illegal activities continue to be safely carried out in plain sight.

“The online platforms of three secondary ticketing sites – all referred to in the complaint – as well as individuals selling tickets, continue to operate in total disregard of the regulations.”

Lionetti added: “We believe that the intervention of the competent authority is an indispensable condition to counter the phenomenon of secondary ticketing. Six months have passed since the law came into force… but nothing was done.

“We reserve the right to report to the competent Judicial Authority the failure to implement without further delay the full exercise of AGCM’s duties and repressive powers.”

TicketOne’s new petition comes just before the introduction of named ticketing starting July 1. The ticketing firm said the move, which would see every ticket for shows over 5,000-capacity become personalised, is “ineffective” and “highly disruptive.”

The letter continues: “The punishing of sites and individuals dedicated to the illegal resale of tickets is the most important – and according to many operators, the only – needed to stop this harmful conduct for both the industry and the public.”

TicketOne’s relationship with AGCM soured in March 2018 when the watchdog imposed a €1m fine on the company for allegedly aiding illegal ticket resale. However, a court sided with TicketOne and ordered AGCM to pay back the fine and all legal costs.

Image: Splitshire