PS12603 - ICA: investigation launched into ticket sales service for the Colosseum Archaeological Park


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According to the Authority, consumers would not be able to buy tickets on the official retailer CoopCulture's website because the tickets are purchased in bulk by secondary retailers

The Italian Competition Authority has opened an investigation vis-à-vis Società Cooperativa Culture (CoopCulture), Musement, GetYourGuide, Tiqets and Viator regarding their ticket sales service for admission to the Colosseum Archaeological Park, which includes the areas of the Flavian-Colosseum Amphitheatre, the Palatine, the Roman Forum and the Domus Aurea.

According to the Authority, consumers would not be able to buy tickets on the website of the official retailer CoopCulture because they are purchased in bulk by secondary retailers.

According to various press sources, since the end of 2022 and in the first half of 2023, tickets for admission to the Colosseum have been sold out immediately after being issued on CoopCulture's website, while they remained available on the platforms of large intermediary operators (Musement, GetYourGuide, Tiqets and Viator) which supposedly purchase them in bulk using automated purchasing systems (so-called 'bots'). The tickets are eventually resold at a premium price on the intermediaries’ channels, usually in combination with other services, such as audio guide (in several languages besides Italian), tourist guide service, pick-up at the hotel, city tour, or the possibility to 'skip' the line.

CoopCulture, in its capacity as official reseller, appears not to have put in place appropriate systems to prevent the hoarding of tickets by alternative resellers, thus depriving consumers of the possibility to purchase admission tickets at the ordinary price.

Today, the Authority's officials carried out inspections at the premises of the companies Cooperativa Culture (CoopCulture) and Musement S.p.A. with the support of the Special Antitrust Unit of the Fiscal Police (Guardia di Finanza).

Rome, 18 July 2023