09. Jun 16

Bundeskartellamt investigates ticket allocation for Euro 2016

The allocation of tickets for the UEFA European Championship in France has triggered the involvement of the Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office. On March 22, 2016, it confirmed that it had instituted proceedings on account of exploitative abuse.

GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London conclude: The European Football Championship is taking place in France this summer. Many German fans naturally want to be part of the live matches contested by the national side. Of course, admission tickets to matches featuring the German national team are difficult to come by.

For German fans, it is even more difficult to get a hold of them. They are only able to purchase tickets if they are members of the fan club for the German national football team. Membership of the fan club is fee based. This method of allocating tickets, whereby fans are effectively made to pay twice, might represent an infringement of antitrust law. For this reason, the Bundeskartellamt has now initiated proceedings looking into the allocation of tickets. It suspects that linking the allocation of tickets to membership of the fan club may constitute exploitative abuse. That is why these practices pertaining to the allocation of tickets are now being reviewed.

This kind of link does not exist in most of the other countries participating in Euro 2016. In these countries, purchasing tickets is generally dependent on citizenship or residency alone.

Antitrust law is meant to ensure effective and diverse competition in the interests, among other things, of consumer protection. Violations of Germany’s Gesetz gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen (GWB) [Act Against Restraints of Competition] or abuse of a dominant market position are dealt with severely and give rise to appropriate penalties.

This, in turn, can result in time-consuming as well as costly legal disputes. In order to prevent this from happening, lawyers who are versed in the field of antitrust law ought to be consulted early on. They are able to assess from the perspective of antitrust law whether there is reason to be concerned and help in overcoming any existing difficulties. If claims have already been lodged against the company on account of alleged antitrust violations, our team of competent lawyers can assume responsibility for fending off these legal actions. Conversely, it is also possible to assert claims against other businesses that have infringed antitrust law or competition law.

For more informations: http://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/antitrust-law.html

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