Ticketmaster’s fees potentially deceptive in Tennessee

May 2012

Live events industry

Tennessee’s law on deceptive practices applies to Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation  the Arkansas Supreme Court has ruled, but the court stopped short of offering an opinion on whether the company’s fees violated the statute. The court’s 4-3 split decision comes after Corey McMillan, an Arkadelphia resident, complained that he was charged nearly $50 in fees to buy four tickets to see country music singer Jason Aldean in concert. McMillan sued Live Nation Entertainment Inc. and Ticketmaster and Ticketmaster took the case to federal court, where a judge asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to determine whether the state law applies to an entity such as Ticketmaster. Writing for the majority, Associate Justice Karen R. Baker said the court “offer(s) no opinion on whether the additional fees or charges by Ticketmaster violate [the statute]”. In a dissenting opinion, Chief Justice Jim Hannah said that whilst the majority did establish Ticketmaster’s criminal liability, the law in question was intended to control ticket scalping and that “By any analysis, Ticketmaster is not scalping tickets; it is the seller in the first instance”.  McMillan said that at an advertised price of $42.75 each, the four concert tickets should have cost $171. Instead, he paid a total of $220.60, including the fees. His attorneys said the charges included a convenience fee of $9.40 per ticket, a facility charge of $2 per ticket and a processing fee of $4 on the whole order. His attorney is now seeking the right to bring a class action.


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