TM Facing Competition Bureau

Ticketmaster’s not out of the woods in Canada.

While the Department of Justice continues its investigation of the proposed Ticketmaster / Live Nation merger in the U.S., TM could face an investigation by Canada’s Competition Bureau.

Canadian courts are already looking into TM’s business practices. Members of two class-action suits are seeking $750 million, claiming the company conspired to divert tickets to popular events away from Ticketmaster Canada – in favor of TM’s subsidiary site TicketsNow, where the same tickets were sold at premium prices.

And following a recent Leonard Cohen ticket flap, where tickets for Cohen’s shows in Canada were listed on TicketsNow prior to the official onsale, the Attorney General of Ontario reportedly promised to look into the matter.

After settling with the state of New Jersey over the recent Bruce Springsteen ticket debacle, Ticketmaster agreed to stop linking to TicketsNow from the Ticketmaster Web site, and also removed the link from its Canadian sites.

Federal Minister of Industry Tony Clement recently told the Canadian Press he’s asked the Competition Bureau to investigate Ticketmaster and TicketsNow.

“I want an investigation to determine whether Ticketmaster is abusing its position as a ticket seller by bumping people off their site to another site which just sells the tickets at a multiple, many times higher than the original price,” Clement said. “I’m not going to prejudge that investigation but I think it’s worthy of investigation.

“I can assure this House that the government will not stand idly by when there is potential that companies are engaged in uncompetitive practices that are hurting consumers.”