Ticketmaster caught enlisting pro scalpers for online resales

21 September, 2018, 15:41 | Author: Rafael Roberts
  • Ticketmaster recruits scalpers to promote resale business undercover investigation reports                  By Henry Bruce-Jones Sep 19 2018

A joint investigation between CBC News and the Toronto Star has revealed that Ticketmaster recruits professional scalpers who cheat the company's own system to expand its resale business.

It's alleged that both moles were separately approached by Ticketmaster reps and briefed on the company's dodgy dealings, which sees scalpers buy tickets from Ticketmaster, then resell them at a higher price on Ticketmaster's own secondary market platform, TradeDesk.

Undercover journalists attended a Las Vegas sales convention during the summer, at which they said they were introduced to the TradeDesk "professional re-seller program" while carrying hidden recording devices.

CBC heard the same message from a different Ticketmaster employee during an online video conference demonstration of TradeDesk at an earlier stage of the undercover investigation back in March.

It's hard enough to buy tickets on Ticketmaster when tens of thousands of people are trying to secure perhaps only 5,000-10,000 tickets at major musical and/or sporting events, but it's made much harder when the company providing those tickets is obscenely obsessed with profit.

In response to the report, Ticketmaster says it does not condone the statements made by the employee, and says the described behavior "clearly violates our terms of service".

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"As scalpers hit milestones such as $500,000 or $1 million in annual sales, Ticketmaster will knock a percentage point off its fees", CBC reported.

"If we identify breaches of these limits ... we reserve the right to cancel any such orders", read Ticketmaster's general terms and conditions. In a statement, the company's Catherine Martin didn't answer specific questions and instead defended the basic concept of ticket resales.

The lawsuit is open to all Canadians who purchased tickets from Ticketmaster at inflated prices.

In a follow-up statement provided to NPR the morning of Sep. "Moving forward we will be putting additional measures in place to proactively monitor for this type of inappropriate activity".

Over the past decade, Live Nation has markedly changed course in its position on ticket resales. If then uploaded to TradeDesk for resale at $400, Ticketmaster would receive a further $76. Posing as a small-time scalper from Canada, Cribb talks to a representative from Ticketmaster's resale arm. According to a report, Ticketmaster is getting a cut of the deal. According to reporting earlier this year from The New York Times, the Justice Department is in the process of reviewing complaints that the concert giant "has used its control over concert tours to pressure venues into contracting with its subsidiary, Ticketmaster".

Prestige Entertainment West Inc., one of the companies, responded by claiming that Ticketmaster uses its site to "deceive consumers and line its pockets from double-dip commissions".

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