Ticketmaster has been the subject of critique, with its often steep prices for event tickets and processing fees. However, recent allegations against the live event giant have raised even more anger toward the company. New reports reveal that Ticketmaster has been connected with a secret ticket scalping scheme, seemingly orchestrated by the ticket sales company itself.
According to Rolling Stone, an investigation by CBC News and the Toronto Star was conducted over the summer. Journalists from the two news outlets were sent out undercover, posing as scalpers at a live entertainment convention. There, the journalists were reportedly contacted by Ticketmaster, detailing the company’s own underground resale program, with the ticket company itself receiving a cut of the profits.
Ticketmaster, and its parent company, Live Nation, apparently enlist the help of re-sellers to buy up large amounts of tickets for specific events from its website. Scalpers are then instructed to flip the tickets for inflated prices on TradeDesk, which is a Ticketmaster-owned, invite-only platform. This scheme results in Ticketmaster receiving extra fees from the more expensive resale tickets, as well as the additional fees from the original purchase of the ticket.
Rolling Stone reports that the journalists were told that Ticketmaster normally looks into suspicious activity in ticket sales, but turn a blind eye to its users on TradeDesk. Sales representatives informed an undercover journalist that many ticket brokers on TradeDesk have hundreds of accounts, but none of the accounts are looked into or reported.
As of now, Ticketmaster has not released a public statement, but told CBC News that they “believe it is our job to offer a marketplace that provides a safe and fair place for fans to shop.”
To read more about the investigation and their findings, click here.