TM Probe Gets Provincial

After several state investigations in the U.S. over Ticketmaster’s ties to its secondary ticketing site TicketsNow, a document obtained from a similar federal investigation in Canada has noted that any actions against the company should be similarly taken on a provincial level.

“The legislative consumer protection instruments and powers in regard to this matter rest largely at the provincial level,” according to a briefing note obtained by the Canadian Press.

The internal note, which was obtained under Canada’s Access to Information act, was reportedly sent to Industry Minister Tony Clement a week after he told reporters he’d asked the federal Competition Bureau to investigate TM’s business practices.

“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 at the time. “I’m not going to prejudge that investigation but I think it’s worthy of investigation.”

However, a spokeswoman for the Competition Bureau could not comment on the investigation, citing confidentiality laws.

“The bureau is currently examining whether any ticket-selling activities by Ticketmaster or its affiliate, TicketsNow, contravene the Competition Act, and will take appropriate action if warranted,” spokeswoman Gabrielle Tasse told the CP. “The bureau has been in contact with representatives of Ticketmaster and has requested information relevant to this examination.”

The Canadian probe follows multiple class-action lawsuits in the country seeking hundreds of millions of dollars from TM for allegedly diverting tickets to popular events away from the Ticketmaster Canada site in favor of TicketsNow.