A New Zealand court has ruled that the secondary resale ticketing marketplace Viagogo breached consumer protection rules, misleading buyers.

The Switzerland-based company faced the judgement from the High Court in Auckland, which found Viagogo used tactics to drive sales and induce ticket-buyers to pay an inflated amount of money for tickets. Justice Mary Peters ruled that many of the tactics breached the Fair Trading Act, as they were likely to mislead people looking to buy tickets to concert and sporting events.

Peters said that 90% of the tickets resold through the Viagogo website were sold by professional ticket scalpers with intent to resell for profit.

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The civil case was brought against the secondary ticketing company by the Commerce Commission after the Commission received more than 700 complaints from members of the public. The commerce alleged that Viagogo used five different tactics to mislead consumers: advertising misled buyers as an official ticketing site, claimed that tickets are 100% guaranteed, tickets were scarce, fees were not included until checkout, and it was not made clear that Viagogo operates as a resale site.

Viagogo reportedly made changes to its operations in 2019 and 2020 after the commission began legal action against the company. While Viagogo denied its behavior breached the Fair Trading Act, Peters found the Commission had proved breaches in all five tactics.

TicketNews reached out to Viagogo for comment.