A class action lawsuit says Ticketmaster and their parent company Live Nation are working with scalpers behind the scenes to make extra money on the same tickets.
The ticketing class action lawsuit claims that Ticketmaster gets to reap the rewards of a ticket sale twice — once when the tickets first sell and another time when the tickets go on the resale market.
According to the Ticketmaster class action lawsuit, consumers are put at a disadvantage because as soon as tickets for popular events go on sale, scalpers scoop up large quantities in order to resell them on other websites.
As alleged in the ticketing class action, this means Ticketmaster gets to collect fees twice and accepts kickbacks for actions that harm consumers unfairly.
The class action claims that Ticketmaster uses a online inventory system called TradeDesk to manage Ticketmaster’s “Resale Partner Program.”
According to the class action lawsuit, Ticketmaster’s TradeDesk program was reportedly “built expressly for professional resellers,” also known to some as “scalpers.”
When the scalper buys the first ticket on the Ticketmaster site, or a bulk of them for the same event, a fee is paid directly to Ticketmaster.
The class action lawsuit says Ticketmaster also gets additional, and much higher fees, when the same ticket is listed as available on an approved Ticketmaster reseller site.
Lead plaintiff Allen Lee says that these actions are directly against the company’s own code of conduct for resellers. Resellers are not supposed to create multiple accounts in order to skirt the ticket purchase limits.
The ticketing class action lawsuit says that Ticketmaster has been unjustly enriched as a result of these unlawful and unfair practices. The ticketing class action lawsuit seeks to represent Class Members nationwide, potentially millions of people.
Lee says he purchased tickets on a secondary market website supported by the Ticketmaster reseller system for nine sporting events from 2016 through 2018. He argues that those same tickets were originally for sale on Ticketmaster.
The claims brought about in this ticketing class action lawsuit follows an investigative report from journalists who reportedly went undercover to Ticket Summit, a convention on ticketing held in Las Vegas.
Those journalists, posing as scalpers, said they were told that the company looks the other way with scalpers, some of whom use fake identities to buy a large volume of tickets.
The journalists also found that, despite no clear mention of the reseller program on TradeDesk or the Ticketmaster website, there is a “Professional Reseller Handbook” that outlines the incentives that scalpers can get directly from the company.
However, a message posted on Ticketmaster’s website from Ticketmaster President Jared Smith states that “TradeDesk is not a scheme to help Ticketmaster sell tickets twice. In fact, less than 4% of the concert tickets we sell each year are listed and sold again on Ticketmaster.”
The ticketing class action argues that many people could still have been impacted by the twice-sales scheme.
The plaintiff is represented by Steve W. Berman and Elaine T. Byszewski of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP.
The Ticketmaster Class Action Lawsuit is Allen Lee v. Ticketmaster LLC, et al., Case No. 3:18-cv-05987, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California.
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