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New Zealand Commerce Commission can appeal ruling over Viagogo injunction

By | Published on Wednesday 10 April 2019


The New Zealand Commerce Commission has been told it can appeal a court ruling made in February in which a high court judge declined to issue an interim injunction against Viagogo.

The government agency wanted an injunction similar to that secured by the Competition & Markets Authority in the UK ordering the always controversial secondary ticketing website to stop employing deliberately confusing language on its website.

The injunction was declined not based on the Commission’s arguments about Viagogo’s conduct or New Zealand consumer rights law, but because of tedious jurisdiction issues. The court ruled that the Commission had failed to formally serve notice against Viagogo in its home country of Switzerland and therefore it couldn’t issue any injunction.

Because serving notice in Switzerland, via diplomatic channels, could take six months, the Commission asked for permission to appeal February’s decision. The high court has agreed to accept an appeal. According to Stuff, the judge who made that decision, Pheroze Jagose, said that the Commission had “identified an arguable error of law” in the previous ruling, which justified the appeal.

It remains to be seen whether that appeal is actually successful, providing the Commission with a court order that would force Viagogo to deal with the government’s agency’s demands. If it is, it would then be interesting to see if Viagogo actually complied with the injunction. Meanwhile, the Commission’s wider case against the resale site – beyond securing the interim injunction – is also ongoing.