Ontario officials have pledged to introduce new legislation to block the resale of tickets to concerts and events on Ticketmaster’s secondary TicketsNow site following backlash in the province against secondary ticketing.
A class action suit was filed in February seeking $500 million from Ticketmaster and claiming the company conspired to divert tickets to popular events away from Ticketmaster Canada – and to TicketsNow, where the same tickets are sold at premium prices.
While the company removed the links to TicketsNow from the Ticketmaster Web site in Canada near the same time as the filing, attorney general Chris Bentley told the Toronto Sun he wanted TM to do more than that.
“I asked them to go a step further – I asked them to do what they’ve done in other provinces, in Manitoba and Alberta, and stop reselling tickets for Ontario events on TicketsNow,” Bentley said. “They would not do that.”
Ontario already has an anti-scalping law in place – the Ticket Speculation Act – that prohibits people from buying or selling tickets at prices above face value. However, the proposed legislation appears to be Ticketmaster-specific.
Joe Freeman, Ticketmaster’s VP for legal affairs, told the Globe and Mail the company has acted in good faith but is being singled out for the widespread practice of reselling tickets above face value, which in rampant on sites like Craigslist.org and StubHub.com.
“Everybody who lives in Toronto or across Ontario knows there are countless brokers in Toronto who constantly acquire and resell tickets,” he said. “We’re a law abiding company. We’re obviously the market leader, and we’re an easy target to blame for wider issues. … One single company should not unfairly be singled out.”