Online ticket reseller Viagogo is calling a High Court decision to dismiss an interim injunction sought by the Commerce Commission "a significant legal victory."
For its part, the ComCom says it was knocked back on a technicality and that it will continue to prepare for a substantive hearing.
In the meantime, the consumer watchdog says it is "urging event ticket buyers to take particular care. We urge ticket buyers to purchase from official ticket websites. Avoid clicking on the first internet search result you see for an event."
In a decision released late yesterday, Justice Patricia Courtney ruled she no jurisdiction because Viagogo had not been formally served.
Viagogo is based in Switzerland and has declined to accept service of the Court proceedings in New Zealand. In a hearing earlier this month, the ComCom said going through diplomatic channels, as requested by Viagogo, would delay proceedings by around six months.
There was no finding made on the substantive merits of the Commission's case, which will be heard at a later hearing.
A spokesman for Viagogo said, "We are pleased by the court's ruling to deny the Commission's application for relief. This is a significant legal victory for Viagogo. For over a decade, millions of customers have been successfully using Viagogo which is why we remain committed to providing a secure platform for people to sell as well as buy sport, music and entertainment tickets to events in New Zealand and all over the world."
At the February 5 interim injunction hearing, Commerce Commission lawyers said around 600 complaints had been received about Viagogo, making it the most complained-about merchant over the past 18 months.
Complaints included those who had not realised Viagogo was a reseller and paid way beyond the official price for tickets and those who alleged the same ticket had been sold over and over on Viagogo's platform, rendering their tickets invalid.
The ComCom was attempting to stop Viagogo making what it alleged were misleading claims about ticket scarcity, price representations and a ticket guarantee.
At the hearing, Viagogo said it had made changes to its website and sales process that addressed the Commission's concerns - which its lawyer argued were in any case below the threshold of a Fair Trading Act breach.
Crown lawyer Nick Flanagan alleged Viagogo was guilty of "extensive fraudulent behaviour - and the evidence is that it continues to the present time."