Ticketmaster has been accused of doubling fees and colluding with scalpers in a long investigation published by CBC and the Toronto Star.
The outlets sent undercover reporters to an entertainment conference in July, where Ticketmaster representatives pitched them Trade Desk, the company’s invite-only proprietary platform for ticket resales.
Trade Desk allows resellers to purchase bulk tickets from Ticketmaster and resell them for higher prices. Under this arrangement Ticketmaster takes a percentage of both sales, and raising or dropping prices based on fan demand. The report captures a Ticketmaster representative on camera saying that Ticketmaster’s ‘buyer abuse’ team–responsible for preventing flagrant instances of predatory scalping–will look the other way when its own platform is used by resellers. The rep stated “I have brokers that have literally a couple hundred accounts” for buying bulk tickets on Trade Desk, and “It’s not something that we look at or report.”
The report also accuses Ticketmaster of timing ticket releases to produce the appearance of higher-than-actual demand in order to ramp up prices before releasing cheaper tickets later.