Controversial ticket reseller Viagogo has been allowed back on Google's search ad platform.
But changes made by the Swiss-based company to its selling methods have not been enough to put off the Commerce Commission.
The watchdog's application for an interim injunction will be heard in the High Court at Auckland on March 6 (an earlier effort having been knocked back on a technicality).
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News of the court date comes on the heels of UK regulator the Competition and Markets Authority issuing warning to Viagogo's recent acquisition, StubHub (which also targets NZ consumers).
The CMA publically threatened to take StubHub to court if it does not address several issues, which it says include selling tickets that might not get people into events and making misleading statements about ticket scarcity (accusations that mirror some of the ComCom's beefs with Viagogo).
Here, a Commerce Commission spokesman said the regulator had received three complaints about StubHub, dated from 2017 and 2018.
They were about price charged, a refund allegedly not received, and tickets allegedly not delivered in a reasonable time.
The ComCom is not currently investigating StubHub.
Viagogo said in November that it had acquired StubHub from eBay for US$4.05 billion ($6.25b) in cash in a megadeal that will complicate the landscape for regulators and search engines grappling with ticket resale controversies.
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At the time, Viagogo managing director Cris Miller told the Herald that the said the two companies planned to merge their operations in the New Year, subject to regulatory approval, so that tickets put up for sale on Viagogo would also appear on StubHub, and vice-versa.
Today, a spokeswoman for Viagogo said, "Viagogo is continuing to work with the Commerce Commission to resolve our differences. As this is an ongoing legal matter we cannot make any further comment."
She added that Viagogo would not comment on StubHub until after the deal closed.
StubHub was founded by the LA-based Eric Baker, who sold the business to eBay in 2007 for US$207m before going on to found Viagogo. If the deal goes ahead, he'll be reunited with his startup. Miller has also worked across both companies.
In July, Google suspended Viagogo from its Ad Words platform worldwide, saying the US-founded, Swiss-incorporated company had breached its terms and conditions - which include ticket resellers clearly identifying themselves as such.
Viagogo immediately disappeared from the top of Google search results but search ads for StubHub immediately appeared in its place.
Google lifted its ban in the last week of November, after Viagogo made a number of changes to its site (Miller declined to detail all changes, but told the Herald one was that an estimate of total fees is now included up front).
The ComCom is pushing on with its legal action.
The regulator says it has received more 1189 complaints about Viagogo.
In its statement of claim, the ComCom alleges that Viagogo has made misleading claims about the number of tickets still available for an event; failed to disclose substantial fees until close to the end of the sale process; and made false representations about its ability to guarantee a ticket to an event was valid.
Numerous ticket buyers who contacted the Herald said they thought Viagogo was the official ticket seller for an event by dint of the fact it appeared at the top of Google's search results. They did not realise it was a Trade Me for tickets and that they would be dealing with a third-party seller, often based in Eastern Europe.
Some ended up paying over-the-odds for tickets that were still available, at a cheaper price, through an official reseller.