Ticketmaster Secretly Partners With Scalpers to Rip You Off on Resale Tickets

Ticketmaster recruits scalpers to promote resale business, undercover investigation reports

New report on concert ticket resellers is a PR nightmare for Ticketmaster

For example, Ticketmaster collected $25.75 on a $209.50 ticket on the initial sale.

A report by CBC News has alleged that Ticketmaster is recruiting professional scalpers who cheat its own system to help the company squeeze more money out of fans. The CBC sent two undercover investigators to a conference in Las Vegas hosted by Ticketmaster and aimed at Ticket re-sellers. "The last thing we'd want to do is get brokers caught up to where they can't sell inventory with us", he said when asked whether Ticketmaster will ban scalpers who thwart ticket-buying limits - a direct violation of the company's terms of use. Those inflated resale tickets are a benefit to Ticketmaster as they provide them with more revenue via extra fees.

"As long as there is an imbalance between supply and demand in live event tickets, there will inevitably be a secondary market", Ticketmaster said. It was there that they discovered that Ticketmaster has developed a professional reseller program and a web-based inventory management system for resellers named TradeDesk. It is claimed that the system allows touts to quickly list large quantities of tickets purchased through the site for resale.

It's hard enough to buy tickets on Ticketmaster when tens of thousands of people are trying to secure perhaps only 5,000-10,000 tickets at major musical and/or sporting events, but it's made much harder when the company providing those tickets is obscenely obsessed with profit. 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".

According to a joint investigation from the CBC and the Toronto Star, Ticketmaster has secretly partnered with scalpers to inflate ticket prices.

The software is not mentioned anywhere on the Ticketmaster site, and to access the TradeDesk website requires a registration form.

Ticketmaster has a "buyer abuse" division that monitors suspicious activity, but a presenter at the convention reportedly said the resale division doesn't call out users of TradeDesk.

This week, we're publishing a story about Ticketmaster, a multi-million dollar global corporation, illegally ripping off its customers.

"We've spent millions of dollars on this tool".

A CBS/Toronto Star investigation revealed the secret scalper program. But no matter how fast you are, tickets will most likely be "sold out". In a statement, the company's Catherine Martin didn't answer specific questions and instead defended the basic concept of ticket resales.

Latest News