Pascrell Questions TM Motives

Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey is again crying foul at Ticketmaster Entertainment, this time in response to the recent Wall Street Journal report that TM execs attempted to align with secondary ticketing companies to share in marked-up profits from a Van Halen tour in 2007.

“Once again Ticketmaster has been caught saying one thing in public and another in the boardroom,” Pascrell said in a statement. “In February, the CEO of Ticketmaster, Irving Azoff, stood before two congressional committees and stated that he’d like to see the secondary market eliminated. Mr. Azoff assured us that, had he been CEO at the time, Ticketmaster would never have purchased TicketsNow nor would the company have attempted to profit from online scalping.”

The statement calls out Azoff for courting “many prominent ticket brokers he later vilified, and even colluded with them to push some of the best seats in the house to several prime concerts directly into the hands of scalpers, in exchange for a percentage of their profits.”

According to the WSJ article, prior to the Van Halen outing, Azoff called together a meeting with AEG, MSG and several ticket brokers. Hundreds of seats to roughly 20 concerts were resold through secondary ticketing sources and the markup was split among brokers, Ticketmaster, the band and its reps, the paper reported.

“These revelations are further proof that congress must quickly pass the BOSS Act and bring much needed transparency to the ticketing industry,” Pascrell said. “We must continue to shine a light on these anti-consumer and anti-competitive ticketing practices.”

Pascrell, who’s been an outspoken critic of TM’s proposed merger with Live Nation, introduced the BOSS Act earlier this year following the Bruce Springsteen ticket debacle.