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Viagogo snaps at NZ watchdog

Viagogo has accused the New Zealand Commerce Commission of ignoring its attempts to settle legal action over its operations in the country.

The controversial ticketing firm’s New York-based managing director Cris Miller, told news site Stuff yesterday (Tuesday) that the Commission had not responded to Viagogo regarding its requests to settle court action.

In April, the the country’s competition regulator was given approval to appeal a court decision from February that ruled against issuing an injunction against Viagogo. 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 argued 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.

The governing body did not want to stop Viagogo from reselling tickets to New Zealanders, but to alter its wording that it claims breaches the Fair Trading Act.

Miller said yesterday: “We have attempted to settle with them, twice, to go through what their concerns are. We’ve made changes based off of what they requested, but haven’t had any dialogue with them.

“The opportunity of sitting down with the Commerce Commission is something we’re interested in doing.”

In a statement, the Commission said it “had no prior knowledge of the Viagogo representative’s visit to New Zealand and we have not had a request to meet.

“If Viagogo wished to ‘sit down’ with us we would have been happy to do so.”

The Commission denied it had not engaged with Viagogo.

It added: “We have had discussions with Viagogo about our case and Viagogo has offered to make some changes to its website. As yet we do not feel those changes are sufficient to resolve our concerns.

“Viagogo instructed counsel to attend the hearing only for the purpose of telling the Court that it does not submit to the New Zealand courts’ jurisdiction.”

Image: Martin Fisch