Ticketmaster Accused of Colluding With Scalpers

In an investigative report, CBC and Toronto Star uncovered evidence that Ticketmaster has been operating its own secret scalping scheme. Both Canadian outlets sent journalists posing as scalpers to the Ticket Summit industry conference held in Las Vegas back in July. It was there that the two were allegedly approached by Ticketmaster and briefed on the company’s seedy reselling scheme.

The scam sees scalpers purchasing tickets from Ticketmaster, then reselling them at a higher price on Ticketmaster’s own secondary market platform TradeDesk. Thus, 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.

According to the undercover report,  Ticketmaster recruiting these scalpers into its secret program and actively turns a blind eye to actions that violate the company’s own terms of service. The Toronto Star writes that scalpers face little to no consequences when it comes to the ticket buying process, such as when they initially purchase beyond the stated ticket limit:

“If we identify breaches of these limits … we reserve the right to cancel any such orders,” read Ticketmaster’s general terms and conditions. “Use of automated means to purchase tickets is strictly prohibited.”

But ticket resellers who break those rules have no reason to be concerned, “We don’t spend any time looking at your Ticketmaster.com account. I don’t care what you buy. It doesn’t matter to me,” said the Trade Desk sales executive reassured. “There’s total separation between Ticketmaster and our division. It’s church and state … We don’t monitor that at all.”

Full investigated report: cbc.ca/news/business/ticketmaster-prices-scalpers-bruno-mars-1.4826914

Uncover footage from the Las Vegas Ticket Summit below: