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Commerce Commission v Viagogo: Injunction denied

Press Release – New Zealand High Court

[1] Viagogo AG is a Swiss company that operates a ticket reselling website in New Zealand, www.viagogo.com/nz. In 2018, the Commerce Commission received more complaints about Viagogo than any other trader, and by some considerable margin. To date, more …
IN THE HIGH COURT OF NEW ZEALAND
AUCKLAND REGISTRY
I TE KŌTI MATUA O AOTEAROA
TĀMAKI MAKAURAU ROHE
CIV-2018-404-002659

[2019] NZHC 187

UNDER Parts 1 and 5 of the Fair Trading Act 1986
BETWEEN COMMERCE COMMISSION
Applicant
AND VIAGOGO AG
Respondent
[…]

Introduction

[1] Viagogo AG is a Swiss company that operates a ticket reselling website in New Zealand, www.viagogo.com/nz. In 2018, the Commerce Commission received more complaints about Viagogo than any other trader, and by some considerable margin. To date, more than 750 consumers have complained about Viagogo. The Commission has brought proceedings under the Fair Trading Act 1986 (FTA) alleging that Viagogo is making false and misleading representations on its website. It has applied for an interim injunction prohibiting Viagogo from continuing this conduct pending determination of the substantive proceeding.

[2] The injunction application came before me on a Pickwick basis. Viagogo has not yet been served formally. It is aware of the proceedings and its New Zealand solicitors have been provided with copies of the documents but formal service in Switzerland will, apparently, take some six months. Mr Lloyd appeared for Viagogo and advised that the company intends, once served, to file an appearance and objection to jurisdiction. He argued that, in these circumstances, this Court has no jurisdiction to determine the injunction application. Mr Flanagan, for the Commission, argued that jurisdiction clearly exists under the FTA and, in the absence of any objection to jurisdiction actually having been filed, there is no barrier to the Court determining the application.

[3] For the reasons that follow I consider that there is no jurisdiction to determine the injunction application at this stage. That must await service or, if the matter is sufficiently urgent, substituted service, on Viagogo.

[…]

Full judgment: 2019NZHC187_ComCom_v_Viagogo.pdf

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