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Investigative report reveals Ticketmaster is allegedly running its own scalping ring via Trade Desk

Just months after AEG filed a former complaint with the DOJ against Ticketmaster and Live Nation, a damning investigative news report has surfaced accusing the country’s leading ticket service provider as a sideline constituent in running its own scalping ring to drive up the prices of concert tickets nationwide.

According to an investigation report conducted by CBC News and the Toronto Star, Ticketmaster has allegedly been operating a covert ticket scalping system in the shadows, in the form of it’s third-party ticketing app called TradeDesk. The joint report had two undercover journalists pose as “ticket brokers” at a live entertainment convention back summer 2018, during which Ticketmaster personnel are caught on camera pitching their “underground professional resale program.”

Here’s how it works: “scalpers set up fake accounts to buy tickets in bulk on Ticketmaster.com since the website limits ‘how many tickets one person can buy.’ The scalpers then flip large quantities of tickets at [up to 30 percent] inflation on TradeDesk,” reports CBS. “It’s not illegal, but Ticketmaster takes a cut,” adds NBC’s Nightly News.

If the report holds up, Ticketmaster will have engaged in behaviors that violates its very own in-house “buyer abuse” division, which monitors their ticketing platform for fraudulent selling behavior. It’s a “public relations nightmare,” said Canadian radio host Alan Cross in the report. More than a deep breach in consumer trust, the practice could also classify as collusion, thereby placing the Live Nation satellite company under federal investigation.

In a statement to CBS News, Ticketmaster said, “It is categorically untrue that Ticketmaster has any program in place to enable resellers to acquire large volumes of tickets at the expense of consumers.” It also said it has begun an “internal review of [its] professional reseller accounts and employee practices.”

Read Ticketmaster’s full statement below:

“It is categorically untrue that Ticketmaster has any program in place to enable resellers to acquire large volumes of tickets at the expense of consumers. Ticketmaster’s Seller Code of Conduct specifically prohibits resellers from purchasing tickets that exceed the posted ticket limit for an event.  In addition, our policy also prohibits the creation of fictitious user accounts for the purpose of circumventing ticket limit detection in order to amass tickets intended for resale.

A recent CBC story found that an employee of Ticketmaster’s resale division acknowledged being aware of some resellers having as many as 200 TradeDesk accounts for this purpose (TradeDesk is Ticketmaster’s professional reseller product that allows resellers to validate and distribute tickets to multiple marketplaces).  We do not condone the statements made by the employee as the conduct described clearly violates our terms of service.

The company had already begun an internal review of our professional reseller accounts and employee practices to ensure that our policies are being upheld by all stakeholders. Moving forward we will be putting additional measures in place to proactively monitor for this type of inappropriate activity.”

Via: CBS News