Colosseum ticket sales are being investigated following complaints

Investigation into Colosseum ticket sales

News Travel & Tourism

An investigation is now open into Colosseum ticket sales. The Antitrust authority is following up on consumer complaints after tickets disappear within minutes.

Italy’s antitrust authority has opened an investigation into ticket sales for entry to the Colosseum and other ancient sites in Rome. This follows reports from consumers of difficulties in buying them on the official dealer’s website.

The competition watchdog is probing the official vendor Società Cooperativa Culture (CoopCulture), Musement, GetYourGuide, Tiqets and Viator. Currently, consumers end up paying a higher price for tickets through secondary ticketing platforms.

Colosseum Archaeological park director Alfonsina Russo is more than happy with the news. “About time too!” she told ANSA.

 “Last year I filed a complaint with the postal police about these hoardings. It all started from there,” she continued, adding that the finance police are also conducting an investigation.

In a nutshell, the claim is that tickets for the Colosseum Archaeological Park, which include entry to the Flavian Amphitheatre, the Palatine, the Roman Forum and the Domus Aurea, are not available online from the former since they are being bought up by secondary ticketing platforms for resale.

Bad month for Colosseum

One of the scourges of the Colosseum, in addition to the vandals who have defaced it three times in the last month, is online scalping. Tourists are struggling to buy tickets to visit the Colosseum on the website of the official CoopCulture reseller. Why? Because they are rounded up en-masse by secondary resellers.

This is why the Antitrust Authority has decided to start an investigation against CoopCulture itself and Musement, GetYourGuide, Tiqets and Viator.

Tickets sold out immediately on the official website

In particular, from the end of 2022 and in the first half of 2023, tickets for entrance to the Colosseum sold out immediately after they were issued on the CoopCulture website. However, they remained available on the platforms of the large intermediation operators (Musement, GetYourGuide , Tiqets and Viator). According to theories, they are purchased en-masse by bots.

The tickets are then resold at a higher price on the secondary sites. They are usually in combination with other services, such as the audio guide, a tourist guide service, transport from the hotel, the sightseeing tour of the city, and the possibility of jumping the queue.

Many complaints from users said they had the tickets disappear from the virtual cart at the time of payment. As a result, they had to pay more on other sites. Some had to pay €70 rather than the face value of €18.

It would seem, therefore, that the official reseller CoopCulture does not have suitable systems to prevent bot purchasing.

On 18 July, the Authority’s officials carried out inspections in the offices of the companies Cooperativa Culture (CoopCulture) and Musement Spa with the help of the special Antitrust unit of the finance police.

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