French Constitutional Court confirms ticket touting ban is legal

CONSTITUTION: France’s constitutional court (Constitutional Council) has ruled that the country’s 2012 anti-ticket touting laws are compliant with the French constitution, knocking back secondary platform Viagogo’s efforts to have the law ruled unconstitutional on the basis they are  “disproportionate breach of freedom of enterprise” – a move backed by rival platform, Ticketbis, owned by eBay’s StubHub. The secondary ticketing firm argued that the ban “infringes the freedom of trade, challenges the right of ownership which grants everyone the freedom to use their property as they see fit, and consequently grants a de facto monopoly to event organisers”. The resale of tickets for profit, without the permission of a show’s promoter, was prohibited in 2012, 

Viagogo has said that it is now considering all options the ruling and “notes” last week’s ruling and is now “considering all the options available …including bringing an action before the European Court Of Justice”. The latter would involve arguing that France’s tout ban contravened EU law. Viagogo’s statement goes on to say that “France is one of the few countries in the world to have chosen a ban on reselling tickets without the agreement of the organiser of a show or sporting event”. Although it opposes such laws, the company then says that it does support measures that will “make resale operations more transparent”.

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