Ticketmaster is being sued for allegedly incentivizing scalpers

The company has reportedly instituted a program that “rewards professional reseller partners.”

October 02, 2018
Ticketmaster is being sued for allegedly incentivizing scalpers Alexandre Schneider / Getty Images

Ticketmaster and Live Nation are being sued for working with scalpers, reports THR. The development follows an undercover investigation by the CBC and the Toronto Star at a ticketing convention in Las Vegas, where "journalists were pitched on Ticketmaster's professional reseller program." Last month, Ticketmaster called the allegations "categorically untrue," adding that they "clearly violate our terms of service."

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"Have you ever wondered why Ticketmaster has been unable to rid itself of the scalpers who purchase mass quantities of concert or sports tickets from its website and then resell them for much more minutes later?" states the complaint, led by plaintiff Allen Lee. "The answer: Ticketmaster hasn’t wanted to rid itself of scalpers because, as it turns out, they have been working with them."

"Indeed, on its own website, Ticketmaster refers to the activity of professional scalpers as 'unfair competition,'" the complaint continues. "But now it has been caught secretly permitting, facilitating and actively encouraging the sale of tickets by scalpers on the secondary market using its TradeDesk platform — all for a second cut on those sales."

Senators Jerry Moran and Richard Blumenthal have reportedly sent letters to Live Nation concerning the TradeDesk program. Back in 2016, Ticketmaster released the details of a $386 million settlement for Schlesinger v Ticketmaster suit dating back to 2003, which entitled legions of customers to free concert vouchers due to exorbitant hidden fees. Many recipients of these vouchers complained that they weren't really eligible for many Ticketmaster events.

Ticketmaster is being sued for allegedly incentivizing scalpers