Rugby World Cup France 2023 organisers have welcomed the Paris Court of Justice’s decision to fine resale platform Viagogo for the unauthorised sale of tournament tickets online.
According to a report from Reuters, Viagogo has been ordered to pay €400,000 (£342,000/€447,000) in fines.
In a statement to Reuters, Rugby World Cup organisers said: “The Court recognises that France 2023 has the sole responsibility of organising the Rugby World Cup 2023, including its ticketing sales.
“The Court concludes that the offer to sell tickets to attend Rugby World Cup 2023 on the Viagogo website constitutes a worldwide infringement of this monopoly and on France 2023’s image.
“The Court points out that the ticketing process by France 2023 is intended to ‘protect fans of rugby union (…) from the increased cost of tickets resulting from their resale’ and to ‘ensure the security of the event, in particular by controlling the identity of spectators’.”
Viagogo has been ordered to pay organisers €300,000 for “damages for infringement of France 2023’s operating monopoly and damage to its image”, according to the report.
A further €100,000 was set as a penalty payment for each day in delaying to stop offering tickets on the platform, after Viagogo was informed of the decision. The resale platform was also told to cough up €75,000 in legal costs.
In a statement to TheTicketingBusiness, a Viagogo spokesperson said: “Viagogo is a safe, secure and regulated marketplace that connects millions of genuine ticket sellers to fans looking to enjoy great live sport, music and entertainment events worldwide. We oppose anti-competitive actions taken by event organisers to restrict purchasing and resale options to certain platforms in a transparent attempt to control the market as they ultimately harm fans by limiting their choice, flexibility, and access.
“Viagogo is committed to complying with laws in all markets we operate in, including France, and will continue to provide a safe and transparent marketplace to help fans gain access to events worldwide.”
The Rugby World Cup will take place later this year between September 8 and October 28.