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Live Nation Italy Sparks Furor Over Direct Secondary Market Sales

ROME, Italy (CelebrityAccess) — Live Nation Italy is facing allegations that they have directly partnered with several secondary ticketing companies to sell event tickets at vastly inflated prices.

The allegations were first aired during a television interview with managing director of Live Nation Italy Roberto de Luca and reporter Matteo Viviani on the Italian television show Le Lene.

During the interview, Viviani confronted Luca with testimony and evidence from anonymous employees from the ticketing sector who claim that Live Nation is placing tickets directly in secondary market services. According to Billboard, who obtained a transcript of the program, Luca initially denied the charges, but later appeared to concede the secondary market placements.

"I want to be clear that, to your question, if Live Nation issued tickets on secondary sites and I answered no… in fact we issue some tickets. A very limited number of tickets on other sites, in this case, [on] Viagogo," said Luca, according to the transcript provided to Billboard.

"But I must make clear that Live Nation sells around two million tickets every year and the tickets that we issue on the secondary sites are equal to 0.20 percent of our tickets sales. We are not talking about tens of thousands of tickets, but hundreds of tickets for a concert," Luca added per the Billboard transcript.

While such allegations regarding direct sales through the second market aren't new, the latest round of revelations has sparked a reaction from Italian artists, including prominent figures such as singer-songwriter Vasco Rossi, whose manager said the singer had cut ties with the promoter, Billboard said.

The Italian government has taken action as well, and on Nov. 11th, introduced legislation that would effectively forbid secondary ticketing and the Italian consumer association Codacons has also filed a complaint to the public prosecutor of Milan against Live Nation Italy.

In a statement to Billboard, Live Nation qualified de Luca's comments during the interview, stating that the tickets in question were only for a small number of international artists.

"Live Nation Italy would like to make it clear that the allegations in Le lene relate to a small number of tickets for a handful of international artists," the company said. "Live Nation Italy has never been asked to list any tickets on secondary markets by Italian artists." – Staff Writers