German Live Music Lobby Wins Ruling Against Secondary Ticketing Platform

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The Regional Court in Hanover has ruled that it is anti-competitive to sell certain concert tickets at a price of more than 25 percent above list cost. The ruling, brought against secondary ticketing platform Ticketbande in a lawsuit by live industry lobby BDKV, is specific to cases in which there is already a clause prohibiting resale, and for when there is a line on the ticket for the buyer's name.

The prohibition on resale takes effect regardless of whether a person's name is actually entered on the blank line.

"The verdict finally eliminates a crucial gray area in ticket sales," commented BDKV's attorney, Dr. Johannes Ulbricht. "It brings the organisers a great step further in the fight against the commercial secondary market ticketing trade... It is also crucial that the secondary market ticket platform is fully liable in the event of a breach of the resale prohibition and cannot claim a fault on the seller's part."   

The judgment is of particular importance since it is not merely an interim relief procedure but a main action. "The Senate has examined the antitrust arguments and the submissions of the other side extremely carefully and has delivered a very satisfactory verdict," said BDKV president Prof. Jens Michow, president of BDKV, who vowed that the association will continue to fight overpriced ticket resale.

Last year the German event market had revenues of over 5 billion euro, a 30 percent increase compared to 2013, the last time the research was compiled. "This industry segment has reached the top of the German entertainment markets," said Michow.