For the international contemporary live music industry

Print-at-home fees declared ‘unlawful’

World News
January 26, 2018

A court in Vienna has ruled that German pan-Europe ticketing giant CTS Eventim should no longer be allowed to charge fans to print their tickets at home.

The Higher Regional Court of Vienna found that a service charge of €2.50 ($3) used by CTS subsidiary Oeticket was illegal, as was the same fee for getting mobile tickets and a charge of €2.90 ($3.50) to have tickets left at a venue box office for collection.

The court said it found the charges “surprising and disadvantageous”.

Consumers’ association Verein für Konsumenteninformation (VKI) had brought the case to court after receiving complaints that buyers were being charged to print their own tickets.

In Germany CTS is appealing against a similar ruling recorded by the higher regional court of Bremen following a lawsuit from consumer association Verbraucherzentrale NRW (North Rhine-Westphalian) over print at home fees. The appeal will be made before Germany’s Supreme Court.

CTS is also contending with a December ruling from German competition watchdog Bundeskartellamt to prevent it using “its market power to the detriment of the competition” via exclusive contracts with partners (see Audience 215). It requires CTS partners to be allowed the option of selling at least 20 per cent of their annual inventory through other ticket agencies.

The company, which has been given four months to comply, refuses to accept the decision.

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