Add Ontario, CAN’s Ministry of the Attorney General to the list of government entities reviewing the business practices of Ticketmaster Entertainment and is subsidiary TicketsNow.
Both companies have drawn a rash of criticism North of the Border in recent months for high convenience charges and the alleged rerouting of customers from the Ticketmaster Web site to the TicketsNow site where tickets are resold for more money. And now, according to The Canadian Press, Attorney General Chris Bentley has begun exploring different options of how to deal with complaints against the companies.
The complaints led to fans filing several class action lawsuits in Canada, which claim the companies have unfairly treated customers.
For its part, Ticketmaster has staunchly defended its business practices, but recently settled a complaint with New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram concerning the company’s handling of Bruce Springsteen ticket sales. The company did not admit wrongdoing, but agreed to pay $350,000 and stop some of its business practices, such as selling tickets from TicketsNow to events before tickets are publicly available.
The criticisms and lawsuits come at a crucial time for Ticketmaster, as it tries to gain federal regulatory approval of its proposed merger with Live Nation. Not only have various groups come out against the merger, the National Association of Ticket Brokers late last week blasted the plan, in part because Ticketmaster Entertainment CEO Irving Azoff and Live Nation President and CEO Michael Rapino called for the abolishment of the secondary ticket market.
Azoff also said he would be willing to sell TicketsNow, realizing that Ticketmaster’s ownership of it has caused the company problems.
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