Ticketmaster Allegedly Helps Secret Scalpers

Ticketmaster recruits scalpers to promote resale business undercover investigation reports                  By Henry Bruce-Jones Sep 19 2018

Ticketmaster recruits scalpers to promote resale business undercover investigation reports By Henry Bruce-Jones Sep 19 2018

Canada's national broadcaster CBC and the Toronto Star sent undercover reporters to Ticket Summit 2018 in July, CBC reported Wednesday.

A pair of reporters posing as scalpers was sent from the outlets to Ticket Summit 2018, a ticketing and live entertainment convention at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Ticketmaster representatives told the journalists that its resale division doesn't report scalpers who use bots and fake identities to buy several tickets and resell them at a higher price on the site. Under this scenario, Ticketmaster successfully inflates ticket prices and successfully profits not once, but twice - first on the fees of the initial ticket sale to scalpers, then on the fees captured during the pricier resale transactions made on TradeDesk. "It's not something that we look at or report". It was there that they discovered that Ticketmaster has developed a professional reseller program and a web-based inventory management system for resellers named TradeDesk. It is claimed that the system allows touts to quickly list large quantities of tickets purchased through the site for resale. According to reports, a Ticketmaster employee said 100 scalpers in North America are using TradeDesk: "I think our biggest broker right now has probably grabbed around 5 million", he said.

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. "As the world's leading ticketing platform, representing thousands of teams, artists and venues, we believe it is our job to offer a marketplace that provides a safe and fair place for fans to shop, buy and sell tickets in both the primary and secondary markets".

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The reports could have a crippling affect on the ticketing giant.

Casey Klein, Ticketmaster Resale director, held a session that was closed to the media called "We appreciate your partnership: More brokers are listing with Ticketmaster than ever before". They get a 3 percent discount on Ticketmaster's 7 percent selling fee, and they receive further discounts when they reach $500,000 and $1 million in sales. In an interesting turn of events, however, it appears that Ticketmaster has had its own pockets in the scalping business all along. The CBC continues to state that Ticket Master actively encourages scalper activity by reducing their cut when a seller sells more than one million dollars in tickets annually. This other side helps facilitate mass purchasing, which results in the secondary market being flooded with tickets being sold above face value.

In January, Live Nation settled a lawsuit centered on allegations by a live-music ticketing company that Ticketmaster had engaged in anti-competitive behavior and committed antitrust violations.

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