CRIMINAL / COMPETITION: A Milan court has acquitted two senior Live Nation Italy executives and three executives from the live sector of any wrongdoing in a secondary ticketing case, which alleged the companies profited from illegally inflating ticket prices. Live Nation Italy’s president Roberto De Luca and general director Antonella Lodi had been charged, along with Mimmo D’Alessandro, chief executive of Tuscan promoter D’Alessandro e Galli (Di & Gi), Corrado Rizzotto, formerly chief executive of Milan promoter Vivo Concerti and now head of Indipendente Concerti, and Charles Roest of Viagogo
The charges were based on an alleged conspiracy with secondary ticketing platform, Viagogo, to remove tickets from the market and resell them at inflated prices and spreading “false information to cause an alteration of the market.” Prosecutor Adriano Scudieri led the two-year investigation into the inflation of ticket sales for events including Bruce Springsteen and Coldplay shows. The five defendants were also accused of “fraud against the state” for failing to pay taxes and performance royalties in full. The suspected inflation would have resulted in revenues from 2011 to 2016 of more than US$1.13 million. Scudieri called for custodial sentences of up to 16 months.
“Two very difficult years have now come to an end, but I am happy because our group has always worked with integrity,” De to Luca told Il Sole 24 Ore, adding “The worst part has been the attempt of some of my competitors to take advantage of the media hype surrounding the investigation and take artists from me. Luckily, our artists understood the situation and stood by us.”
Di and Gi’s Mimmo D’Alessandro told Audience, “We always kept our trust in the course of justice. Now justice is done and I am very happy for me and for our company. We’ve been always dedicated to the promotion of music to the greater number of fans possible and we’ve been always against any form of secondary ticketing”.