3 Aprile 2018

Ticketone: ICA decision imposing a Euro 1 million fine for unfair commercial practices overturned

On 31 January 2018, the administrative court of Lazio (“Tar Lazio”) issued its judgment overturning the decision adopted by the ICA on 5 April 2017 regarding the failure by Ticketone S.p.A to adopt effective measures to prevent the purchase of tickets through automated procedures and restrictions aimed at limiting multi-ticket purchases. The Tar Lazio stated that ascertaining an unfair commercial practice requires the existence of an economic advantage for the trader as a result of the material distortion of the economic behaviour of the user/consumer through the practice, which the ICA failed to prove in the case at hand. According to Tar Lazio, the activity that hindered consumers was not the direct relationship between Ticketone and the subject carrying out multiple purchases (at a regular price) but rather the relationship between the latter and the consumers who accept to pay an increased price on the secondary market resulting in an evident surplus for the “secondary” seller (and not for Ticketone).

Releated Post

A new EU Regulation on geo-blocking

On 2 March 2018, the EU Regulation No. 2018/302 of 28 February 2018 on geo-blocking has been published in the Official Gazette (“Regulation”). The Regulation is aimed at preventing unjustified geo-blocking in the internal market (i.e. discriminatory practices preventing online customers from accessing and purchasing products or services from a website based in another member state), as well as other forms of discrimination based on customers’ nationality, place of residence or establishment. Among others, the Regulation includes a ban on traders to discriminate customers with regard to the general contractual terms and conditions, including prices, when the relevant trader: (a) sells goods that are delivered in a Member State to which the trader offers delivery, or that are collected at a location agreed upon with the customer; (b) provides electronic services such as cloud services, data warehousing or hosting services; (c) provides services which are received by the customer in the country where the trader operates, such as hotel accommodation, sport events or tickets to music festivals. Furthermore, traders will not be allowed to discriminate customers for reasons of nationality, place of residence or establishment by (i) applying different payment conditions to customers or (ii) blocking or limiting a customer’s access to the trader’s online interface (through the use of technological measures or otherwise). The Regulation will come into force on 22 March 2018 and will apply from 3 December 2018.