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Ticketmaster complies with FTC regulations for TicketsNow link
Live Nation Entertainment Inc. announced that their Ticketmaster unit has resumed providing customers with a link to the company's ticket resale website TicketsNow.
According to Bloomberg, TicketsNow, which provides consumers with an alternative for purchasing tickets to sold-out events, received criticism from U.S. regulators and musician Bruce Springsteen who claimed that Ticketmaster was not up front with consumers about the company's services.
Bloomberg explained that in order to comply with the Federal Trade Commision's regulations, the company's new practices make it evident to ticket buyers that TicketsNow is a separate website and alerts consumers upon clicking a link that they are about to leave the current website for the TicketsNow site. Consumers are also informed that ticket prices may be higher than face value.
"We make it absolutely transparently clear that when you go buy a ticket at Ticketmaster and the event is sold out, that there may be other alternatives," said Live Nation chief executive offer Michael Rapino in a recent interview with Bloomberg.
According to The New York Times, Ticketmaster's practices for their ticket resale site first came under scrutiny in 2009 when fans purchasing tickets from Ticketmaster for a New Jersey concert were directed to TicketsNow, where many seats were being sold for as much as four times above face value.
As part of settlements with the New Jersey Attorney General's office and the Federal Trade Commission, Ticketmaster paid $16.5 million and agreed to limit their advertising and stop providing ticket buyers with a direct link between the Ticketmaster and TicketsNow websites for one year, according to The New York Times. Furthermore, as part of a February 2010 settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the company issued refunds to consumers.
According to an article in The New York Times in April, TicketsNow will no longer be allowed to sell tickets for higher than face value for live events in Ontario and Manitoba (Canada) based on a class-action lawsuit linked to the original suit filed in 2009.
Bloomberg reported that secondary ticket market volume through April was up more than 10 percent over last year. Ticketmaster and Live Nation expanded their services in order to keep up with competitors, like popular secondary ticket marketplace StubHub.
"Our secondary business continues to be a growth driver," said Rapino according to Bloomberg. "We had great success in the first quarter."
According to a MarketWatch press release, TicketsNow powers several ticket marketplaces including official Ticket Exchanges for US Open Tennis, World Wrestling Entertainment, Allstate Sugar Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl, and multiple college and university bowls.