Ticketmaster To Make Huge Payout Over ‘Misleading Prices’
The war against unscrupulous ticketing practices continues as Ticketmaster has been forced to pay $4.5 million as a settlement stemming from a Canadian investigation, which alleged that the ticketing agency was responsible for misleading prices online.
What was misleading about the prices was the mandatory fees that were added onto the advertised cost of the ticket. Canada's Competition Bureau determined (in a report published by the Canadian government) "the price representations were misleading even though the amount of the fees was disclosed before consumers completed their transaction."
The investigation also concluded that these fees added over 20 percent to the total cost and, in some cases, added on more than 65 of the advertised ticket prices.
As a result, Ticketmaster L.L.C., TNow Entertainment Group, Inc. and Ticketmaster Canada will pay a $4 million penalty and will be charged an additional $500,000 for costs incurred by the Competition Bureau.
The Bureau has also established a Compliance Program that will legally bind the named companies to its term for a period of 10 years. Follow-up investigations will also be conducted over this time.
To read the full report, head here.
In response to the settlement, Ticketmaster has issued the following statement:
Today Ticketmaster announced that it has resolved proceedings brought by the Commissioner of Competition in Canada.
Last July, Ticketmaster was the first ticket company to voluntarily ensure total prices were displayed upfront to Canadian consumers. We look forward to the Competition Bureau and individual provinces ensuring that all other ticket marketplaces in the live event industry meet the same standards.
Ticketmaster is committed to leading the industry in consumer safety and transparency and has also adopted best practices to protect Canadian live entertainment consumers that include:
1. Clearly disclosing if tickets are being sold at the original face value or are being resold at prices that may be above or below face value
2. Banning the practice of listing tickets for sale at inflated prices before they are even purchased, a practice known as "ticket speculation”
3. Clearly identifying if we are the official primary ticket marketplace for an event and, if we are not, identifying which marketplace is
Ticketmaster welcomes new consumer protection legislation across Canada to improve transparency, fight cheater bots that steal tickets, and reduce fraud in the secondary sales market and will continue to actively participate in federal and provincial conversations to create the safest ticketing environment for fans and event owners alike.
In 2016, Ticketmaster was found guilty in a class action lawsuit over similar circumstances, which led to the company offering free ticket vouchers as part of the settlement. Ticketmaster's name the made headlines last year when reports surfaced alleging that the company was conspiring in an underground scalping network, though they denied these claims.
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