Ticketmaster is doubling the amount it initially set aside to settle a class action lawsuit over certain fees, after a judge rejected a proposed settlement earlier this year.
The company will pay a minimum of $45 million in the form of credits on future ticket purchases by class members. The class includes consumers who purchased tickets from Ticketmaster.com between October 21, 1999, and October 19, 2011.
Class members can claim up to 17 past purchases and receive a $1.50 credit for each. Additionally, some class members may also receive a $5 credit if they used UPS as an expedited delivery method. Members will have up to four years to redeem their credits; they can combine and redeem up to two credits at a time.
Separately, the two named plaintiffs in the class action — Curt Schlesinger and Peter Lo Re — stand to receive up to $20,000 apiece as part of the settlement.
The lawsuit claimed that Ticketmaster misled customers into believing fees that ranged from $14.50 to $25 were passed on to delivery companies. The fees are in fact revenue drivers for the ticketing company.
Ticketmaster will still be able to charge the processing and shipping fees. But the settlement requires the company to modify language on the site to make it more transparent that Ticketmaster is generating a profit from its fees.
Jacqueline Peterson, spokesperson for Ticketmaster, did not return a message seeking comment, but released a statement to CNNMoney late last week.
“We believe that the settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate as a compromise of highly disputed claims,” Peterson said. “Ticketmaster attempts to earn a profit for its services, and it will continue to charge fees for the services it provides. Nonetheless, as part of the settlement, Ticketmaster has modified its disclosures to emphasize that there is a profit component in these fees.”
Ticketmaster initially set aside a little more than $22 million for the settlement, which was deemed an inadequate sum by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kenneth R. Freeman this past summer. Freeman has tentatively approved the new settlement, but the two sides will appear before him to finalize it on May 29, 2012.
Reached by TicketNews today, December 6, Chicago-based attorney Steven Blonder declined to comment about the settlement. Blonder is lead counsel for the class.
Class members, based on Ticketmaster’s records during the period in question, have been notified by e-mail about the settlement.
This marks the second fee-related settlement the company has reached this fall, following a $16.5 million agreement to pay aggrieved fans who claimed to have unknowingly bought Bruce Springsteen tickets at a premium from the company’s resale subsidiary, TicketsNow.