Ticketmaster face a new US action over scalping claims

December 2018

A class action lawsuit against Ticketmaster has been launched after a customer, Allen Lee, accused the ticketing giant of intentional fraud and over-charging consumers.The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, claims that Ticketmaster has violated the Cartwright Act, California Penal Code, and a handful of fraudulent business practices: “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 lawsuit reads. “The answer: Ticketmaster hasn’t wanted to rid itself of scalpers because, as it turns out, they have been working with them.

Taking the same approach as the recent Canadian CBC TV documentary on Live Nation and Ticketmasters’ activities which explained “Beyond running the official box office (and claiming to be anti-bot/anti-scalper), CBC reveals Ticketmaster’s secret program for industrial-scale ticket re-sellers. Our Dave Seglins poses as a scalper and gets a first-hand demonstration of Ticketmaster’s re-seller software, designed to help move millions of dollars in scalper inventories. The suit goes on: “Indeed, on its own website, Ticketmaster refers to the activity of professional scalpers as ‘unfair competition.’ But now it has been caught secretly permitting, facilitating and actively encouraging the sale of tickets by scalpers on the secondary market using its TradeDesk platform — all for a second cut on those sales.”

“Companies should treat consumers fairly,” Lee’s lawsuit reads. “But a company fails at this when it accepts kickbacks for secretly facilitating a shortage of its product and then a sale by a third party at a higher price. This isn’t right. But Ticketmaster was just exposed for engaging in just such a scheme.”

Ticketmaster has defended itself saying Lee and others have no right to sue the company as they have waived their rights fpound in the small print of user agreements. The company has said it is counter-filing against Lee, noting that “the applicable Terms contained a provision by which Plaintiffs expressly agreed to submit their claims to binding arbitration, and waive any right to a jury trial or to participate in a class action.”


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