Another lawsuit has been filed against Ticketmaster Entertainment, and its TicketsNow resale service, this time in connection to a concert by The Dead. The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey.
In the latest complaint — which seeks class-action status, and specifically excludes the Springsteen-related plaintiffs –- Michael Kelly (from New Jersey) claims he:
attempted to purchase concert tickets for [an April 25, 2009] Grateful Dead concert… despite being on the Ticketmaster website prior to tickets going on sale, as soon as the scheduled sale time arrived he was informed that the tickets were not available and was rerouted to TicketsNow… there he was charged $177.00 (plus a service charge) for each ticket… the total cost for four tickets (each with a face value of $99.50) was $829.15. Plaintiff Kelly was not informed, and was not aware of, the face value of the tickets until he received them in the mail.
In the first case, two other New Jersey residents accused the two companies of allegedly manipulating the market price in relation to sales of Bruce Springsteen tickets. The two claimed they were wrongfully directed away from Ticketmaster to tickets on TicketsNow, which sold for higher prices.
The Kelly complaint goes on to say, “Ticketmaster and TicketsNow (a wholly owned subsidiary of Ticketmaster) conspired to defraud the class by engaging in an unlawful scheme to artificially and systematically inflate the prices of event tickets sold by defendants.”
The latest lawsuit also alleges that customers redirected to TicketsNow believe that they are purchasing tickets at face value directly from Ticketmaster.
Calls to Kelly’s attorney, William Mergner, with the firm Leary, Bride, Tinker & Moran of Cedar Knolls, N.J., were not returned.
The Ticketmaster/TicketsNow relationship has come under intense scrutiny in recent months, not only in the U.S. but also in Canada. Such investigations come at a delicate time for Ticketmaster because the company is battling to have its proposed merger with Live Nation accepted by federal regulators.