The head of an online ticket exchange launching in Australia insists sport and music fans won't be forced to pay through the nose for secondhand tickets.
Launching in Australia this week, viagogo is a ticket re-sale website where people buy and sell tickets for sold-out and high-demand concerts and sporting games.
It is designed as a secure marketplace, as sellers only receive payment after the buyer has attended the event.
This way, buyers are protected from getting ripped off by ticket fraudsters, founder Eric Baker says.
But the Swiss-based company has attracted controversy in Europe and the US because it doesn't put a cap on mark-ups sellers can set for in-demand tickets.
On the Australian viagogo site, tickets for an upcoming Beyonce show bought at $195 were being re-sold for up to $858.
"Across the board, it's generally 10 to 20 per cent above or below face value," Mr Baker said.
"But for some very high demand events it can be significantly above."
Mr Baker stressed while viagogo users were free to post their own prices, a ticket with a grossly inflated cost was unlikely to actually sell.
"We had an example with Wimbledon were there were two tickets for the men's finals this past year that someone posted for 81,000 pounds."
"Note they asked for 81,000 pounds - no one bought it."
But putting a price cap on secondhand ticket prices would simply fuel black market trade, he said.
He said viagogo users should be free to buy and sell tickets at whatever price they like, and the site purely exists to provide a safe means for them to do so.
"I'm not out there buying tickets - I'm a platform in a marketplace," he said.
A 2012 television report by Channel 4's Dispatches program alleged staff at the company's London branch bought tickets themselves to sell for inflated prices.
The undercover investigation aired in Britain after the High Court overturned an injunction brought by viagogo and ruled the episode was in the public interest.
Mr Baker said direct purchases were only made when sourcing a select number of replacement tickets for customers, or when artists give the site ticket allocations.
Viagogo is expected to announce partnerships with two Australian sporting teams later this week.
Latest Business Articles