Canadian Firm Targets Ticketmaster With Third Class-Action Lawsuit Canadian Firm Targets Ticketmaster With Third Class-Action Lawsuit
A third class-action lawsuit has been launched against Ticketmaster as fallout continues from last week’s CBC and Toronto Star  reports regarding the company’s resale operations. Sotos... Canadian Firm Targets Ticketmaster With Third Class-Action Lawsuit

A third class-action lawsuit has been launched against Ticketmaster as fallout continues from last week’s CBC and Toronto Star  reports regarding the company’s resale operations. Sotos Class Actions announced its action against Ticketmaster Canada Holdings ULC for live events occurring in Canada as far back as September 1, 2013. The company says it is seeking $250 million in damages on behalf of anyone who purchased tickets from the company during that span.

“The [CBC/Toronto Star] investigation has provided strong evidence of what many ticket buyers have long suspected – the market is rigged in favour of resellers and against consumers,” says Louis Sokolov, identified as lead counsel for the class in a press release issued by Sotos. “If true, Canadian consumers have paid many millions of dollars for inflated ticket prices and additional fees. The aim of this lawsuit is to stop those practices and return the money to Canadian ticket buyers.”

The lawsuit joins at least two others that have been reported in the wake of the reports. One, also based in Canada, was launched earlier this year but has been amended with new information. Another in the United States is seeking consumers who feel they may be among those with a claim against the Live Nation Entertainment-owned giant.

Ticket Summit

Ticketmaster has been on its heels in the week since the reports came out, with evidence of price-inflating tactics documented for a Bruno Mars show on the primary market and a hidden camera interview with a Ticketmaster employee discussing how the company turns something of a blind eye to broker behavior that may violate the company’s terms and conditions in the primary marketplace forming its cornerstone. Consumer and media reaction has been harsh and widespread, and a pair of United States Senators wrote a letter demanding answers from Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino last week.

Ticketmaster has said the implication that it has any programs which give ticket brokers an advantage over the public during onsales is “categorically untrue.” Jared Smith, President of Ticketmaster North America, wrote a lengthy blog post on the matter – the second such post he has had to write in the past seven months.

The full press release from Sotos LLP is included below:

Class Action against Ticketmaster brought on behalf of Canadian ticket buyers

TORONTO, Sept. 26, 2018 /CNW/ – Sotos Class Actions, a leading class action firm, has launched a lawsuit seeking $250 million in damages on behalf of all persons who purchased resold tickets from Ticketmaster Canada Holdings ULC for live events occurring in Canada starting on September 1, 2013.

 

Ticketmaster is the largest ticket marketing platform in North America.  For several years ticket buyers have complained that regularly-priced tickets are often unavailable at the time that they purportedly go on sale, while tickets from resellers show up for sale contemporaneously, including on the Ticketmaster platform, at prices much higher than the face value.

 

Ticketmaster has terms of use and policies that claim to prohibit mass ticket purchases by resellers by electronic and other means; however, a recent investigation by the CBC and Toronto Star has revealed evidence that Ticketmaster in fact encourages mass purchases by resellers and has developed a specific electronic platform called Trade Desk for the purposes of assisting resellers in listing tickets for sale en masse, including on the Ticketmaster platform.

 

Ticketmaster profits from the resale by taking an additional commission off the resale, in addition to the fee that it takes from the primary sale.

 

The class action alleges that Ticketmaster’s practices constitute an arrangement to limit the supply of tickets on the primary market, and therefore are in violation of the Competition Act. It also alleges that the statements in its terms of use, to the effect that it prohibits mass purchases, are misleading representations contrary to the Consumer Protection Act.

 

Lead counsel for the class, Louis Sokolov, said “the media investigation has provided strong evidence of what many ticket buyers have long suspected – the market is rigged in favour of resellers and against consumers. If true, Canadian consumers have paid many millions of dollars for inflated ticket prices and additional fees.  The aim of this lawsuit is to stop those practices and return the money to Canadian ticket buyers.”

 

The Statement of Claim can be found here. Persons who purchase Secondary Market tickets can register here to obtain updates on the class action.

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