The resale ticketing site Viagogo is calling out the Irish government for its proposed laws governing ticket touting.
Viagogo reportedly issued a legal memorandum to Irish government ministers, noting that the laws, which seek to ban the above-face value resale of tickets and end bot software, are “repugnant” to the constitution. Additionally, the company claimed that the laws would pose a threat to hundreds of jobs because their offices are located in Limerick.
The bill, which was approved by Cabinet in July 2017, is going to come back before the Dáil before the end of the month. While a main problem within the industry is the use of bots, legal representatives for Viagogo said that the bot issue can be addressed through certain technology.
In the document, senior counsel Michael Howard and barrister Patrick Fitzgerald insisted that the bill would infringe upon the property rights of Irish citizens.
“The price at which a person decides to resell a ticket is a matter of that person and the market,” they wrote in the document, pointing at the violation of EU law to allow the “free movement of goods.”
As part of a submission to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport in 2018, the company said it sold 75 percent of its tickets for a price above face value, while only 90 percent of users sold less than 10 tickets per year.
“The overwhelming majority of tickets listed do in fact sell,” Viagogo said. “The tickets that don’t sell are typically those listed at high and unrealistic prices, which are those that are often reported in sensationalist media articles.”
Representatives for Viagogo claim that the bill is “extremely vulnerable to challenge” as it would breach the Irish constitution and pose a “significant risk” to about 200 existing jobs and 150 new jobs at Viagogo’s offices.
“There can be no doubt as to the damaging impact the Bill will have on Viagogo,” the document reads.
Last Updated on January 16, 2019