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New Zealand High Court Judge rejects Commerce Commission injunction against Viagogo

New Zealand High Court Judge rejects Commerce Commission injunction against Viagogo
February 19, 2019

New Zealand’s Commerce Commission has failed to win an injunction to force Viagogo to change the way it does business with a High Court judge ruling in favour of the Switzerland-based online ticket reseller.

Having received hundreds of consumer complaints, the Commission argued before the High Court in Auckland earlier this month that Viagogo was misleading consumers and even enabling invalid concert tickets to be sold to New Zealand buyers.

While the Commission sought an injunction preventing Viagogo from making claims about ticket scarcity, pricing and a guarantee of validity, Judge Patricia Courtney ruled that even though Viagogo knew about the Commission's legal action, it had not been formally served notice.

Aaron Lloyd, the lawyer representing Viagogo, told the Court that once formally served, the company intended to argue that the Court had no jurisdiction over the company, which is based in Switzerland, does business online, and has no New Zealand office.

Judge Courtney refused to grant the interim injunction the Commission sought until Viagogo had been formally served, and had the chance to argue its case.

The Commission had argued that it would take months for the case against Viagogo to be formally served in Switzerland.

In her ruling, issued on Monday, Judge Courtney advised "the Commission alleges that the Viagogo website falsely represents that it is an official ticket seller for events in New Zealand but, in fact, is not retained as an official ticket seller by promoters of events in New Zealand.

"The Commission alleges that Viagogo represents that the number of tickets available are very limited, which is false and misleading because there are tickets available through official ticket sellers.

"The Commission alleges that Viagogo represents that the tickets it sells are valid when, in fact, many of the tickets it sells are invalid, including because they have already been sold or are forgeries."

Crucially, Judge Courtney ruled she had no jurisdiction to hear the injunction application at this stage advising that it wasn't enough for the Commission to say that Viagogo's conduct in this country fell within the jurisdiction of New Zealand's courts.

Judge Courtney added “the problem for the commission is … the fact that the defendant has not yet been served.”

In the injunction hearing earlier this month, lawyers representing the commission described website Viagogo as a "marketplace for scalpers and fraudsters".

Related Articles

11th February 2019 - Concert promoter Michael Chugg says Viagogo is ‘out of control ... f***ing thieves’

6th February 2019 - Commerce Commission describes Viagogo as a ‘marketplace for scalpers and fraudsters’ in Auckland High Court

5th February 2019 - Commerce Commission interim injunction against Viagogo set for New Zealand High Court hearing

8th December 2018 - Viagogo agrees to UK competition authority demands on ticket resales

12th September 2018 - Viagogo responds to calls for Google AdWords service to reject its resales

15th August 2018 - New Zealand Commerce Commission begins court action against Viagogo

5th June 2018 - FIFA makes criminal complaint against ticket reseller Viagogo

17th March 2018 - Commerce Commission issues warning over buying event tickets through Viagogo

28th August 2017 - ACCC commences legal action against ticket reseller Viagogo

20th April 2017 - Consumer NZ investigates ticket resellers

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