Ticketmaster is secretly hiring 'scalpers' to resell tickets at a higher price

ASSOCIATED PRESS           Ticketmaster tickets and gift cards are shown at a box office in San Jose Calif. in 2009

Ticketmaster tickets and gift cards are shown at a box office in San Jose, Calif., in 2009. But an undercover investigation by CBC News and the Toronto Star has revealed that the company partners with professional scalpers to inflate ticket prices, which in turn increases its profits.

At the event, Ticketmaster representatives told the reporters that the company's resale division doesn't concern itself with scalpers who use ticket-buying bots and fake identities to snatch up stubs to resell at inflated prices.

"Those pricey resale tickets include extra fees for Ticketmaster".

"As long as there is an imbalance between supply and demand in live event tickets, there will inevitably be a secondary market", Ticketmaster said.

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CBC also reports that Ticketmaster Resale Director Casey Klein held a session which was closed to the media in which he unveiled TradeDesk, a web-based inventory management system developed by Ticketmaster. "TradeDesk allows scalpers to upload large quantities of tickets purchased from Ticketmaster's site and quickly list them again for resale". In 2009 - the year before Live Nation merged with Ticketmaster - Live Nation's then-CEO, Irving Azoff, told the Senate judiciary antitrust subcommittee that he believed "scalping and resale should be illegal". "To access the company's TradeDesk website, a person must first send in a registration request". They said Ticketmaster pitched them TradeDesk and caught a company representative on camera explaining that the "buyer abuse" team will look the other way. On paper, Ticketmaster have outlined strict ticket purchasing limits for customers in their terms & conditions, they have compelled governments to outlaw scalping and have even sued online ticket brokers for using bots.

Ticketmaster is now accused of running what looks like an underground ticket scalping project that may be driving up prices and costing consumers millions.

The report also accuses the ticketing giant of timing the release of tickets to make it appear that demand is higher than it actually is in an effort to drive fans to the higher-priced options - and then releasing less-expensive tickets later. For Ticketmaster, this market is "particularly lucrative", CBC reported. "We do not own the tickets sold on our platform nor do we have any control over ticket pricing - either in the initial sale or the resale".

"They have a secret scalper program that they don't talk about in any corporate reports", said CBC investigative reporter Dave Seglins. The CBC continues to state that Ticket Master actively encourages scalper activity by reducing their cut when a seller sells more than one million dollars in tickets annually. West Hollywood-based Ticketmaster told the Canadian news outlets that it operated its ticketing marketplace more transparently and securely than any other company.



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