Report: Ticketmaster Accused of Teaming With Scalpers to Collect Extra Fees on Ticket Resales
An underground ticket scalping division of Ticketmaster has reportedly been uncovered by CBC News / Toronto Star journalists. An explosive new article details how Ticketmaster has teamed with scalpers on their TradeDesk platform to collect additional fees, profiting from the resale of tickets at inflated rates.
Undercover journalists attended the Ticket Summit convention in Las Vegas this year, posing as scalpers in order to be pitched on Ticketmaster’s reseller program. TradeDesk reps admitted to turning a blind eye to scalpers who use ticket-buying bots. “I have brokers that have literally a couple hundred accounts,” one sales rep said. “It’s not something we look at or report.”
Ticketmaster, which is owned by Live Nation, have called their TradeDesk service “The most powerful ticket sales tool. Ever.” Unfortunately for fans, the scalpers and bots are the ones being empowered. And though Ticketmaster has a buyer abuse division to police suspicious online activity, TradeDesk is not being monitored at all.
"We don't share reports, we don't share names, we don't share account information with the primary site. Period," a rep said after being asked about the potential use of bots. "We've 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. We're not trying to build a better mousetrap."
Ticketmaster have collected huge amounts of cash from TradeDesk scalpers. For instance, if Ticketmaster sells a ticket for $209.50, the company will collect $25.75 in fees on its main site. However, if that same ticket is resold for $400 on TradeDesk, Ticketmaster collects an additional $76.
“CBC News obtained a copy of Ticketmaster's official reseller handbook, which outlines these fees,” the news organization reports. “It also details Ticketmaster's reward system for scalpers. As scalpers hit milestones such as $500,000 or $1 million in annual sales, Ticketmaster will knock a percentage point off its fees.” According to CBC, TradeDesk’s biggest broker has grabbed “around five million” tickets to resell.
Ticketmaster has chosen not to comment publicly on the story, but stated to CBC, “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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