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Viagogo is 'easy target', but it's not the head of the ticket scalping snake - expert

The Commerce Commission is scheduled to face ticket reseller Viagogo in Auckland's High Court today, but it’s unlikely the company will show up - insisting instead on being served in Switzerland, which would delay the process by months.

The commission is seeking an injunction against the controversial company, which has received hundreds of complaints from customers in New Zealand for inflated prices, alleged misrepresentations on its website and other issues.

But even if the commission does prevail in court, Viagogo is not the "head of the snake", Manolo Echave from the New Zealand Promoters Association told TVNZ1’s Breakfast today.

"Viagogo is the tail," he explained. "Viagogo is the public face of this scam. Governments have targeted Viagogo because it is the easy solution."

Mr Echave said no one is addressing the contracts between the venue and the ticketer, where the tickets come from and how the resellers make their money.

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    The website is popular among scalpers who buy multiple tickets to events, and sell them on for an inflated price. Source: 1 NEWS

    "Viagogo has been taken to task in many countries already, they have been censured, they’ve been fined," he said. "But right now you can still go on the internet and buy a Viagogo ticket."

    That's because, he said, promoters are being held at arm's length.

    “The ticketers have exclusive contracts with venues - that means whatever happens internally between the venue and the ticketer is not able to be controlled by the promoter - and that’s the core of the problem,” he explained. 

    The way to solve the problem, he said, is to have a system where the promoter has options for ticketers.

    “This automatically provides competition in the market, preventing the people that are using the scam to provide tickets for all sorts of resellers around the world the opportunity to cut them out," he said. "We don’t have that opportunity at the moment.”

    Today’s court hearing for the internet company should just be the start, he argued.

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      Manolo Echave of the NZ Promoters Association told Breakfast that today’s court hearing for the internet company should just be the start. Source: Breakfast