Viagogo Loses Appeal Over $7M Fine
The Federal Court has dismissed an appeal by dodgy ticket tout Viagogo who fought a $7 million penalty imposed for making various misleading claims on their website.
Viagogo had falsely represented that it was the ‘official’ seller of tickets to particular sporting and music events.
Justice Burley, who handed down the fine, called Viagogo’s conduct was “deliberate” and its misleading claims were made “on an industrial scale.”
“This case was about bad behaviour by an international ticket reseller that deliberately misled thousands of Australian consumers about the price they would have to pay for tickets and falsely represented that those consumers were purchasing tickets from an official site,” ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver said.
In addition, the Court also upheld the finding that Viagogo’s website drew consumers in with a headline price but failed to sufficiently disclose additional fees or specify a single price for tickets, including a 27.6 per cent booking fee which applied to most tickets.
“Viagogo misled music lovers, sporting fans and other consumers who were hoping to get tickets to a special event,” Carver said.
“Consumers were drawn in by a headline price and were often unaware of the significant fees charged by Viagogo until very late in the booking process when they were already invested in attending the event.
“Businesses must clearly disclose if they charge additional, unavoidable fees on top of the advertised price.”