Ticketmaster is facing a class-action lawsuit from fans, following the company being accused of working with touts to gain profit from reselling tickets.
Last month, findings from an undercover investigation claimed that the website was colluding with secondary sellers – permitting fake accounts that enabled them to bypass the multiple ticket limit. When the tickets were resold on Ticketmaster, the site was able to take a percentage from individual sales.
In July, journalists from CBC News and Toronto Star posed undercover at Las Vegas’ Ticket Summit 2018 to expose the ticketing malpractices.
The reporters approached sales reps, who allegedly discussed how they hacked buying limits by using multiple accounts and purchased tickets in bulk, before selling at a higher rate.
Now, Rolling Stone reports that the law firm Hagens Berman has filed a suit on behalf of lead plaintiff Allen Lee. Ticketmaster and Live Nation are reportedly being sued by Lee for “unlawful and unfair business practices” that “unjustly enriched” the seller.
“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 complaint, led by Lee reads. “The answer: Ticketmaster hasn’t wanted to rid itself of scalpers because, as it turns out, they have been working with them.
“Indeed, on its own website, Ticketmaster refers to the activity of professional scalpers as ‘unfair competition,'” the complaint continues. “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.”
The proposed class also potentially includes: “All end-user purchasers in the United States who purchased a secondary market Ticketmaster ticket from a professional reseller participating in Ticketmaster’s resale partner program and/or using TradeDesk or a similar system operated by defendants, such as EventInventory or eimarketplace.”
During the investigation earlier this year, one rep is said to have revealed that the practice of hacking was widespread as “you can’t make a living on just eight tickets”. Another is alleged to have claimed that the biggest tout had “grabbed around 5 million tickets a day”.
In response to the claims at the time, Ticketmaster said: “We do not own the tickets sold on our platform nor do we have any control over ticket pricing – either in the initial sale or the resale.
“In both cases, prices are set by the seller. 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 spokesperson added: “As long as there is an imbalance between supply and demand in live event tickets, there will inevitably be a secondary market.”