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Commerce Commission cautions consumers following High Court’s Viagogo decision

The Commerce Commission is urging event ticket buyers to take particular care, following the High Court’s decision to dismiss an application for an interim injunction against online ticket seller Viagogo.

The Commission sought an interim injunction to prohibit website representations by Viagogo which the Commission alleges are misleading. The High Court at Auckland held that it had no jurisdiction to determine the injunction application at this time because Viagogo has not been formally served.

Viagogo is based in Switzerland and has declined to accept service of the Court proceedings in New Zealand. Service by diplomatic channels will take some months.

There was no finding made on the substantive merits of the Commission’s case, which will be heard at a later hearing.

Commission chairman Mark Berry says, “We knew this was not an easy course but we had hoped to get interim orders to protect New Zealand consumers until we could have the Court hear our substantive case against Viagogo. Our focus remains on preparing for the main hearing against Viagogo.

“The fact the Court did not make orders limiting Viagogo’s website claims makes it even more important that consumers take steps to protect themselves. We 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 website to find out who the official ticket seller is.”

A date for the substantive hearing for the Commission’s case against Viagogo has yet to be set by the Court.

As the matter remains before the Court, the Commission made no further comment at this time.

The Commission’s application for an interim injunction did not seek to ‘shut down’ Viagogo or to prevent its trading in New Zealand, as has been misreported. 

The interim injunction sought to prohibit Viagogo from making claims on its website which the Commission alleges are misleading.