Ticketmaster TradeDesk Program Supports Scalpers Class Action

What, exactly, is Ticketmaster’s TradeDesk program? The complaint for this class action alleges that it is simply to enable scalpers, so that Ticketmaster can get a second cut of revenue on sales. 

The Nationwide Class for this action is all end-user buyers in the US who bought a secondary-market Ticketmaster ticket from a professional reseller in Ticketmaster’s resale partner program and/or using a TradeDesk or similar system operated by Ticketmaster or Live Nation Entertainment. An Ohio Subclass has been proposed for buyers in the state of Ohio. 

Ticketmaster bills itself as the “largest ticket marketplace in the world” and the “go-to event search engine for billions of live event fans across the globe.” In 2010, it merged with Live Nation to become Live Nation Entertainment. The company claims to limit the number of tickets per purchase to inhibit scalpers. It also forbids using fictitious accounts to get around the ticket limits. 

But the complaint claims this is just a pose. If the tickets are resold through Ticketmaster itself, it says, the company gets a second cut of the action. For example, on a $209.50 ticket, the company collects a fee of $25.75. If the ticket is then resold through the company for $400, it collects a second fee of $76—much higher than the first fee. 

The complaint claims that TradeDesk is “a web-based inventory management system” for scalpers. It says that the program is not mentioned on Ticketmaster’s website or in its corporate reports. To access the TradeDesk website, the complaint says, “one must first submit a registration request.”

According to the complaint, Canada’s national broadcaster CBC and the Toronto Star newspaper did an undercover investigation into TradeDesk. Undercover reporters went to the Ticket Summit convention, and, in a session that was closed to the media, they heard a pitch for the reseller program that made it clear that Ticketmaster does not mind scalpers at all. 

CBC and the Toronto Star allege that a company sales representative said, “I have brokers that have literally a couple of hundred accounts. It’s not something that we look at or report.” Although Ticketmaster supposedly has a “buyer abuse” department that keeps an eye on suspicious online activities, another sales representative “said its resale department does not police users of TradeDesk.” 

When an undercover reporter asked, during an online demonstration of TradeDesk, whether Ticketmaster would ban scalpers who got around the company’s ticket-buying limits, the representative said the company had spent “millions of dollars on this tool. The last thing we’d want to do is get brokers caught up to where they can’t sell inventory with us.” 

In other words, they’re OK with scalping as long as they get a cut. In fact, the complaint says, the company even rewards those who sell the most with discounts on fees.

The complaint alleges violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law, the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act, and Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act, among other things. 

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Ticketmaster TradeDesk Program Supports Scalpers Complaint

December 10, 2018

What, exactly, is Ticketmaster’s TradeDesk program? The complaint for this class action alleges that it is simply to enable scalpers, so that Ticketmaster can get a second cut of revenue on sales. 

ticketmaster_scalping_complaint.pdf

Case Event History

Ticketmaster TradeDesk Program Supports Scalpers Complaint

December 10, 2018

What, exactly, is Ticketmaster’s TradeDesk program? The complaint for this class action alleges that it is simply to enable scalpers, so that Ticketmaster can get a second cut of revenue on sales. 

ticketmaster_scalping_complaint.pdf
Tags: Entertainment, Event Tickets, Ticket Scalping