Ticketmaster hit with class action lawsuit following allegations of ticket scalper collusion
Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation have been served with a class action lawsuit that accuses Ticketmaster of “actively [encouraging] scalpers to resell event tickets on its site because it collects a fee on both the initial sale and resale.” The lawsuit was filed on September 28 in a California federal court. “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?” the complaint asks, only to provide an answer to the question asked therein: “Ticketmaster hasn’t wanted to rid itself of scalpers because, as it turns out, they have been working with them.”
The accusation that Ticketmaster colluded with ticket scalpers to orchestrate the covert ticket scalping system on its invite-only secondary ticket sale site, TradeDesk, stems from the publication of an investigation jointly conducted by CBC News and the Toronto Star. CBC News and the Toronto Star claimed that two of their undercover journalists posed as scalpers at a live entertainment convention hosted during summer 2018, during which Ticketmaster personnel pitched their “underground professional resale program.” The Ticketmaster staff members present at the convention reportedly told the journalists that there are brokers with “a couple of hundred accounts” on TradeDesk. Ticketmaster representatives allegedly also stated that the multiple accounts are not “something that we look at or report,” despite Ticketmaster’s support of its in-house buyer abuse division designed to probe online ticket sales for suspicious behavior. Ticketmaster has since denied its participation in any scalping related activity.
The class action suit opened against Ticketmaster follows U.S. senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Richard Blumenthal’s (D-Con.) request for further details about Ticketmaster‘s alleged oversight of the secret ticket scalping scheme. Moran and Blumenthal penned a letter to the CEO of Live Nation, Michael Rapino, in which the senators ask for clarification on the use of TradeDesk. The issue is of particular interest for the senators, who were instrumental in the institution of the Obama-signed BOTS Act, which limits the use of bots in consumer ticket purchasing. Moran and Blumenthal prompted Rampino to respond to their letter by October 5. Ticketmaster has not issued a formal statement regarding the lawsuit.
H/T: High Snobiety