Consumer watchdog the Commerce Commission is sueing ticket reselling site Viagogo.

The commission is set to commence civil proceedings in the High Court under the Fair Trading Act for breaching consumer law.

It will seek an injunction to restrain Viagogo from further breaches.

The commission alleges Viagogo made false and misleading claims, acting as an "official" concert ticket seller when it was not, labelling tickets as limited or about to sell out and claiming consumers were "guaranteed" to receive valid tickets to events.


It also alleges Viagogo's ticket pricing was misleading, saying 'headline' prices were unobtainable because of the addition of GST and various fees.

The commission joins a long list of international enforcement agencies who are bringing similar cases against Viagogo.

The Swiss company is now facing court or enforcement action in Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, the UK and Australia.

It has already been fined in Italy and sued by football association FIFA, banned from selling tickets to various World Cup Events.

Since January last year the commission has received more than 400 complaints about Viagogo and Consumer NZ has previously called for action against it after it found 89 per cent of complaints against the company were due to hidden fees.

Commerce Commission consumer head Stuart Wallace said he was pleased to have launched legal proceedings against Viagogo.

"We acknowledge that this has been a longstanding investigation, and in large measure that is because of the complexity of pursuing a case against an online trader based offshore," Wallace said.

Viagogo has in the past been used as a online platform for scalpers to scam concert-goers around the world.


Last year an Auckland woman spent more than $1000 on what she thought were VIP tickets to see singer Adele live in concert - only to discover she had been sold stall tickets worth $100 each.

Deborah Light, 62, bought the two tickets for Adele's Mt Smart Stadium show on Viagogo.

Each ticket cost her AU$359.10, with an added $199.50 booking and $4.95 handling fee, totalling at AU$922.65 ($1012.92).

Other consumers have been left out of pocket having bought fake tickets to other concerts such as Celine Dion, Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars.

Consumer NZ said it welcomed the Commerce Commission's legal actions.

"Consumers are being duped by Viagogo's sales practices," Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin said. "Many purchasers who end up on the site don't know they're dealing with a reseller. They're pressured to buy by claims tickets are in high demand and selling fast when that may be far from the case."

Viagogo was founded in 2005 by American businessman Eric Baker, a former Harvard University graduate.