Competition Bureau finds Ticketmaster's software doesn’t violate its rules
Ticketmaster tickets and gift cards are shown at a box office in San Jose, Calif., on May 11, 2009.(THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Paul Sakuma)
Jeremiah Rodriguez, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, January 31, 2019 11:30AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 7, 2019 1:33PM EST
Ticketmaster’s TradeDesk software doesn’t violate Canada’s anti-competitive business laws, the federal ruling body has found.
Consumers had filed complaints against Ticketmaster to Canada’s Competition Bureau, which enforces the federal law. Complaints contained allegations that the TradeDesk software facilitated the mass scalping of tickets --- allegations the Competition Bureau did not confirm.
“Ticketmaster’s TradeDesk software allegedly allows users to synchronize their Ticketmaster accounts—where they buy tickets—with their online resale operations, allowing them to list tickets on the secondary market,” the Competition Bureau wrote in a press release.
According to the bureau, scalper bots or ticket bots are software designed to buy large amount of tickets as they become available for sporting and entertainment events.
“There is a perceived scarcity, which may lead to increased prices for consumers,” the bureau said.
But it ultimately ruled Ticketmaster’s practices didn’t break any rules.
“The Competition Bureau has examined the matter and has concluded that this conduct has not contravened the Competition Act,” the bureau’s statement read.
The allegations against Tradedesk were reviewed under deceptive marketing practices and conspiracy provisions section of the Competition Act -- a federal law aimed at preventing anti-competitive business practices.
Back in September when the allegations first surfaced, Ticketmaster’s president Jared Smith released a blog post. In the post, he described Tradedesk as an “inventory management tool for professional ticket resellers (brokers)” which brokers use to “manage tickets they already have.”
But Ticketmaster isn’t out of trouble yet.
Interim Commissioner of Competition Matthew Boswell said another case against Ticketmaster, Live Nation and its affiliated companies, is still ongoing over allegations of false advertising over ticket prices for sports and entertainment events.
The issue here is that consumers allegedly end up paying additional fees added later in the purchasing process, the federal ruling body said.
“The Competition Act is the best tool to crack down on false or misleading representations, including misleading ticket price advertising. That’s why we sued Ticketmaster, and we remain committed to advancing our ongoing litigation,” Boswell said in a statement.
With files from The Canadian Press
Correction: An earlier version described Ticketmaster’s Tradedesk software as “scalper bot software,” when the Competition Bureau only described it as allegedly facilitating the mass scalping of tickets.