Italy’s Anti-Trust Agency Forced To Repay TicketOne $1.2m In Fines

The Lazio Regional Administrative Court in Rome has canceled sanctions raised by Italy’s anti-trust agency Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) against TicketOne.

– TicketOne
Operating impeccably, according to a court in Rome

The ticket agent got fined in April last year, after Italy’s authorities had carried out an investigation into the country’s secondary ticketing market, concluding that TicketOne “did not take effective measures to counter the purchase of tickets through automated procedures, nor did it provide for rules, procedures and restrictions to limit multiple ticket purchases, nor did it carry out ex-post checks to cancel such multiple purchases.”

On March 2, the court ruled in favor of TicketOne, confirming the company’s line of reasoning, which is “that it has always operated with utmost care and diligence, and that its business conduct did not favor the secondary market.” Since the company has already paid the fine, it will now receive a refund.

The court concluded that scalpers buying large amounts of tickets with the sole purpose of selling them for profit do so for their own, and not TicketOne’s, benefit. The court also found that TicketOne was already doing enough to curb the use of bot technology by scalpers.

Stefano Lionetti
Gideon Gottfried
– Stefano Lionetti
CEO of TicketOne

TicketOne CEO Stefano Lionetti said: “We have always distanced ourselves from unlawful and speculative business practices that occur within the secondary ticketing market. Therefore, we are very satisfied that the court confirmed that the allegations made against us were wrongful. Over and above, the ruling underlines that our company has always operated with transparency and professionalism.”

TicketOne is operated by CTS Eventim and is Italy’s main online-sales channel. Competition arrived in November, in the form of Ticketmaster.

CTS Eventim has been aggressively expanding its Italian business with three promoter acquisitions in short succession. In 2017, the German live entertainment giant took over Andrea and Stefano Pieroni’s Vertigo in September and Ferdinando Salzano’s Friends & Partners in November. In February, the company bought a 60-percent stake in D’Alessandro e Galli.

For the past two years, Italy has been an interesting market to follow regarding secondary ticketing. Shortly after the AGCM investigation was launched in October 2016, Italian TV program Le Iene reveled that Live Nation Italy and Vivo Concierti had sold ticket inventory directly to secondary sites.