Former Vivo CEO Pulled Into Ticket Resale Scam

The Italian TV program Le Iene followed up its investigation into the country’s secondary ticketing market, and found more perpetrators.

After Live Nation Italy CEO Roberto de Luca confirmed on the record that his company sometimes sold inventory directly to secondary sites, the editors of Le Iene were sent more documents: invoices incriminating Vivo Concerti, the live arm of Warner Music Italy, of partaking in the same practice.

– Vivo Concerti

Vivo Concerti’s current CEO, Clemente Zard, has only been in office since September and has taken a hardline anti-secondary ticketing stance. When questioned by Le Iene’s Matteo Viviani, Zard assured that he wasn’t involved in any reselling of tickets on secondary markets whatsoever.

He pointed out that the invoices pertained to a time when Vivo founder Corrado Rizzotto was still running the show. When Viviani tracked down Rizzotto to confront him, the man, who now runs Independente Concerti refused to comment.

Independente occupies the same office address in Milan as Live Nation Italy, and the companies are co-promoting concerts.

The Italian government is en route to amend its so-called budget law to regulate the secondary market and charge “those who grant the right of access to tickets to any person other than those authorized” between 5,000 and 180,000 euro for each violation.

In addition, the violating sites would either have their contents removed or be shut down entirely. This should please Ferdinando Salzano, CEO of Italian promoter Friends & Partners, who said he felt “ashamed” after watching the first Le Iene report. In a press conference convened after said episode, he said: “These sites must be blocked, they shouldn’t be regulated. It’s called fraud, you can’t do this.”

Promoter Claudio Trotta, founder of Barley Arts, called the government proposal “useless. The only way is to shut down all these websites engaging in the secondary market.”

His office also informed Pollstar that SIAE, Italy’s authors’ rights society, won a complaint at the Court of Rome against Live Nation, Seatwave, Ticketbis and Viagogo.

“From today, any further sale of tickets for the Coldplay concerts on July 3 and 4 in Milan on the secondary market is prohibited. Moreover, for any additional ticket sold [on the secondary market] a penalty of euro 2000 will be charged.”