7 May 2013

Venue TOD charges: legal avenue is open

Joe DeAbreu,jpg

Venues that collude with ‘in house’ audio visual providers to lock out external audio visual suppliers face legal action, according to Joe De Abreu, Managing Director of Austage.

“I have spoken to lawyers and after two meetings I feel that they would cost us more than the venues charge. I have also spoken at length to ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission)”.

De Abreu says any event producer or AV supplier faced with excessive Technician On Duty or Supervision Fees levied by a venue or a venue in-house supplier should lodge a complaint with ACCC. There is an online form, here.

CX understands that a venue and an audio visual supplier who can be proven to have colluded to limit or eliminate competition may be in breach of The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA). Many AV suppliers have complained to CX that some venue in-house providers levy a Technician On Duty charge for supervision of external suppliers, where the actual Technician doing the supervision is absent or under qualified.

Other complaints revolve around charges for access to venue infrastructure such as rigging or power, along with dock or loading access. In many cases the cumulative charges drive away the external supplier, allowing the house supplier to secure the work. Given the collusive nature of the arrangement between the venue (often a major hotel) and the internal audio visual supplier, ACCC may be persuaded that a boycott exists.

De Abrue says that his advice is formal complaints should be made using the ACCC online form. Any complaint needs to quantify the potential loss, and the exact nature of the imposition imposed by the venue.

He asks anyone making a complaint to email him, so he can keep tabs on how the ACCC is responding. Contact Joe De Abreu at


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