By nature, ticket brokers can be a very protective lot. For years, many have operated under the radar, in part because while most are...

By nature, ticket brokers can be a very protective lot. For years, many have operated under the radar, in part because while most are legitimate, honest resellers of tickets, some are not, and it is the actions of some of those that have clouded the public’s perception of the industry.

So, needless to say, many brokers are very protective of their data, client information and business operations, and with that in mind a newly instituted Ticket Listing Agreement issued by TicketsNow for its brokers has been met with some trepidation in light of the company being acquired by Ticketmaster. During a meeting with brokers in Las Vegas last month, the two companies’ CEOs, Sean Moriarty of Ticketmaster and Cheryl Rosner of TicketsNow, addressed some of the concerns that brokers have about the 15-page contract. TicketNews obtained a recording of the May meeting, and a copy of the listing agreement, and in the fourth part of an in-depth series on the results of the meeting, we will examine the matter.

TicketsNow has always had a Ticket Listing Agreement for its brokers, but following the acquisition by Ticketmaster, a company that has long had a contentious relationship with the secondary industry, TicketsNow drew up a new agreement to better reflect its changing role in the marketplace, and to better protect itself and its brokers moving forward, according to officials. During the Las Vegas meeting, brokers asked what this means, especially in light of the fact that not only has TicketsNow inherited a new parent company, but the immediate future of Ticketmaster itself is also up in the air as its parent company IAC/InterActiveCorp looks to spin it off.

Moriarty told brokers that Ticketmaster and whoever purchases it “will make an effort to enter the relationship under terms and conditions which will continue to respect the confidentiality of brokers. But, you cannot guarantee what you cannot guarantee.” If Ticketmaster is sold or simply operates as its own entity remains to be seen.

“Our goal is to protect the confidentiality of your proprietary information from disclosure. That was the commitment that we made when we created the listing agreement,” Rosner said.

The Ticket Listing Agreement reads in part: “Each party shall protect the Confidential Information of the other party from misappropriation and unauthorized use or disclosure, and at a minimum, shall take precautions at least as great as those taken to protect its own confidential information of a similar nature, but no less than a reasonable degree of care. Without limiting the foregoing, the receiving party shall (a) use such Confidential Information solely for the purposes for which it has been disclosed; and (b) disclose such Confidential Information only to those of its employees, agents, consultants, and other who have a need to know the same for the purpose of performing this Agreement and who are informed of and agree to a duty of nondisclosure and non-use as restrictive as this Section 3.”

The agreement also goes on to say, “Customer Information and Ticket Content shall be deemed the Confidential Information of both parties. Notwithstanding anything in this Section 3 to the contrary, Company will retain the Customer Information, Ticket Content and other information regarding customers and Orders placed through its Website. However, Company shall not provide or in any way distribute any such information regarding Seller, Customers and Orders placed through its Website to its parent company, affiliates, or any other third party for use by such parent, affiliate or third party for marketing, identification of ticket ownership, revocation of ticket licenses, litigation, or any other commercial purpose.”

What concerns brokers the most is that once Ticketmaster has access to client and customer data, the company will use that information to market directly to those customers and effectively squeeze out the broker. Those same concerns also haunt some brokers under the new deal between StubHub and Major League Baseball, and both Ticketmaster and StubHub have taken pains to try to calm brokers’ fears.

“Ticketmaster has never been in the business of turning over its client data to third parties,” Moriarty told brokers. “And, while no one can predict future events, we feel very confident that it’s good, solid policy that will persist, regardless of what happens on the other side of us being a public company. We have no intention of changing that.”

Read more articles in this series.

June 26, 2008:  The fight for legislation
June 19, 2008:  CEO predicts huge growth in secondary market
June 17, 2008:  CEO admits artists are reselling their own tickets
June 12, 2008:  A bright future for ticket brokers

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