Viagogo, secondary ticket platform and the parent company of StubHub, is ordered to pay A$7 million (around 5 million US dollars) fine for misguiding Australian consumers during concert and sports tickets resale operations conducted in 2017. Ruled by the Federal Court of Australia, the decision of penalty came after an appeal against the previous judgement was dismissed.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) launched legal proceedings in 2017, and in 2019, a federal court judge said that Viagogo, which resold tickets to events including tennis’ Australian Open, Ashes cricket matches and Queen concerts, falsely declared to customers it was an official ticket seller. The court also found the marketplace pulled customers in with a headline price for tickets, but did not adequately disclose significant additional fees they charged, leaving the consumer unaware of the full price until the end of the purchase process.
“Viagogo misled music lovers, sporting fans and other consumers who were hoping to get tickets to a special event, says ACCC commissioner Liza Carver said, “Consumers were drawn in by a headline price and were often unaware of the significant fees charged by Viagogo until very late in the booking process when they were already invested in attending the event.”
“Businesses must clearly disclose if they charge additional, unavoidable fees on top of the advertised price,” Carver added.
According to Australian Associated Press, a spokesperson from Viagogo said the firm was disappointed by the decision but confirmed that its website had changed during the long-running case.
“[The ruling] does not reflect our current ticketing platform and the many changes we have made to provide greater transparency for our customers, including providing clearer pricing, ticketing availability and event policy information at all stages of the customer journey.”