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Austrian Supreme Court rules against Viagogo, forcing transparency on ticketing platforms

Austria’s Supreme Court (OGH) has ordered Viagogo to better inform its buyers about the identity of ticket sellers and the type of ticket being sold by a seller before a purchase is made.

The ruling forces viagogo.at and any other Viagogo or similar websites affecting Austria to disclose the identity of ticket sellers, including name and address, and whether tickets are personalised, ahead of ticket purchase.

The verdict also means that for the first time, customers in Austria are protected from losses caused by misleading information or the absence of essential information by sellers, such as travel costs when access to the show is denied.

Furthermore, if Viagogo doesn’t ensure sellers’ compliance with the registration and the disclosure of their identities, the platform itself would be held accountable.

Until now, tickets on secondary platforms operating in Austria were sold anonymously, with buyers not informed when tickets were personalised, leading to them often being denied access to events.

The case against Viagogo was brought by the trade body for sports and leisure companies of the Upper Austrian Chamber of Commerce through the competition protection association, WSV. The basis for the lawsuit was the significantly inflated prices for tickets sold on Viagogo for cabaret events by Monika Gruber and Viktor Gernot, organised by Austrian events agency, Stage. The legal representation was taken over by the Linz-based competition law expert Dr. Johannes Hintermayr.

Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing commented: “The verdict is a remarkable step towards a fairer secondary market in Austria, as it not only forces ticketing transparency, but places responsibility at the feet of the platforms themselves.

“Congratulations to Dr. Hintermayr and the WVO who have led this extraordinary fight, and let it be one step of many towards the creation of an ethical market, which is all the more important in getting the industry back on its feet post-COVID-19.”

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