Ticketmaster Allegedly Helps Secret Scalpers

Ticketmaster is secretly hiring'scalpers to resell tickets at a higher price Provider CBC

There, CBC journalist Dave Seglins recorded company representatives saying that the Ticketmaster resale division turned a blind eye to scalpers using fake identities and bots to acquire tickets for resale. In other words, the ticketing company can collect a service fee on a ticket twice: once when they sell the ticket to scalper and a second time when the scalper resells the ticket at an inflated price on Ticketmaster's platform called TradeDesk. We also do not determine when tickets are available for purchase or how they are allocated - those decisions are communicated to us by our client, the venue, after consultation with the event presenter.

The company told the news outlets that as long as there's an imbalance between supply and demand for event tickets, there will be a secondary ticket market. It is claimed that the system allows touts to quickly list large quantities of tickets purchased through the site for resale. They can easily raise or drop prices on several tickets based on demand.

The resale program and TradeDesk appear closely guarded by Ticketmaster. In the terms and conditions on its website, the Live Nation subsidiary clearly indicates ticket limits for buyers, and the company even has gone so far as to sue online ticket brokers like Prestige Entertainment for allegedly using bot software.

But in one corner of the Las Vegas convention floor sat a conspicuous Ticketmaster booth welcoming scalpers with a solemn reassurance: Ticketmaster wants to share in the profits of the resale market by facilitating the mass scalping of its tickets - in direct violation of its own terms of use. The employee said Ticketmaster had spent millions on TradeDesk. The sales representative adds: "It's not something that we look at or report".

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According to CBC, "if Ticketmaster collects $25.75 on a $209.50 ticket on the initial sale, when the owner posts it for resale for $400 on the site, the company stands to collect an additional $76 on the same ticket".

A CBS/Toronto Star investigation revealed the secret scalper program.

"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.

Allegations about Ticketmaster working with scalpers emerged following a 2017 lawsuit the company filed, which claims three ticket brokering companies used bots to "improperly procure tickets for the goal of reselling them at a substantial profit". In a statement, the company's Catherine Martin didn't answer specific questions and instead defended the basic concept of ticket resales. The essence of the report is that Ticket Master ignores looking for possible abuse of its re-sale program, such as the practice of bots scooping up hundreds of tickets and automatically re-listing them at an inflated price.


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