Controversial online ticket website Viagogo can keep operating the way it does in this country for now with a High Court judge kicking for touch a bid to stop claims it was making about tickets.

The Switzerland-based company has faced hundreds of complaints from Kiwis over its selling practices and Commerce Commission is suing it, and has alleged it has made false representations to its customers.

The Commission sought an injunction preventing Viagogo from making claims about ticket scarcity, pricing and a guarantee of validity. The Commission alleges those claims are misleading.

Lawyer for the commission, Nick Flanagan, told the High Court in Auckland last week that Viagogo was guilty of "extensive fraudulent behaviour - and the evidence is that it continues to the present time."


But Justice Patricia Courtney, in a just-released decision, ruled she had no jurisdiction to hear the injunction application at this stage.

That's because the commission has not formally served its case on Viagogo in Switzerland.

While its New Zealand solicitors are aware of the action, service on Viagogo in Europe will take about six months.

Justice Courtney said that in these circumstances, the court had no jurisdiction to hear the injunction application.

It would not have jurisdiction until service on Viagogo had taken place, she said.

Justice Courtney said it wasn't enough for the commission to say that Viagogo's conduct in this country fell within the jurisdiction of New Zealand's courts.

"The problem for the commission is…the fact that the defendant has not yet been served," she said.

If the matter was particularly urgent, a plaintiff in a case such as this can apply for what is known as substituted service.


This is a mechanism where documents can be served on defendants via email or other means, rather than in person.

"That, of course, has not been done in this case," Justice Courtney said.