The Commerce Commission will no longer seek an interim injunction against online event ticket seller Viagogo, after Viagogo made changes to its website and gave undertakings to the Court that it would not undo those changes. Viagogo has also now submitted to the jurisdiction of the New Zealand Courts.
The Commission had sought an interim injunction preventing Viagogo making representations that the Commission alleges are misleading, pending a hearing of the Commission’s full case against Viagogo. The interim hearing was set down for Friday 6 March in the High Court at Auckland.
“The changes Viagogo has made to its website have largely addressed the interim injunction application filed by the Commission alleging that Viagogo was misrepresenting the price and availability of tickets, and the “guarantees” attached to tickets. Importantly, Viagogo has given undertakings to the Court that it will not undo those changes or make new, similar representations. We consider that these changes and undertakings achieve what we sought in our interim injunction application and mean we can avoid the time and cost of another hearing and advance our preparations towards the full case hearing,” said Mary-Anne Borrowdale, the Commission’s General Counsel, Consumer and Competition.
Viagogo has also undertaken that it will take reasonable steps to ensure that the phrases “All tickets 100% guaranteed!” or “100% guaranteed” will not appear in Google search results.
At Friday’s scheduled hearing Viagogo was to protest the jurisdiction of the New Zealand Courts in relation to the Commission’s proceedings against it. It has now withdrawn its protest.
“Until now Viagogo has said it is not answerable to the Courts here, which has led to considerable expense and delay for the Commission. We think a company that sells New Zealand event tickets to New Zealand consumers should fall under New Zealand law, and we are pleased that Viagogo now accepts that too,” said Ms Borrowdale.
“Viagogo’s changes and undertakings do not mean that our substantive case has been resolved. The main case continues and we will continue to move towards a full hearing on the matters we first raised in August 2018. We still urge ticket buyers to purchase from official ticket websites. Avoid clicking on the first internet search result you see for an event. Scroll down the page and find the official ticket outlet or, if you aren’t sure, visit the artist’s or organiser’s website to find out who is the official ticket seller,” said Ms Borrowdale.
The Commission’s substantive case
The Commission’s substantive case was filed in November 2018. The Statement of Claim can be read in the Documents tab in the Viagogo entry on our case registry.
Interim injunction application timeline
- 5 February 2019: Commission application for interim injunction is heard
- 19 February 2019: High Court dismisses application
- April 2019: Commission appeals High Court decision
- October 2019: Commission wins appeal