Ark. Supreme Court Assessing TM Fees

Ticketmaster fees are getting quite a bit of chatter in court these days. The company’s fee structure was recently uncovered in a Philadelphia bankruptcy case and now TM charges are scheduled to get a once-over from a state Supreme Court.

U.S. District Court Judge James Moody recently asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to offer an opinion on a question related to a class-action lawsuit.

The suit, filed by Arkansas resident Corey McMillan against Live Nation Entertainment and Ticketmaster in April, alleges the companies violated state ticket law by charging extra fees on top of face value.

Specifically, McMillan claims he purchased four tickets to a concert at the Verizon Arena in North Little Rock and was charged additional fees in the amounts of $2 for a “facility charge,” $9.40 for a “convenience charge” and $4 for an “order processing fee.”

McMillan argues the additional fees are “deceptive, unfair and unconscionable and violate one or more provisions of the [Deceptive Trade Practices Act].”

He might just have a case. Arkansas law states it is unlawful for any person, corporation, firm or partnership to sell a ticket to any “music entertainment event at a greater price than that printed on the ticket or the box office sale price plus any reasonable charge for handling or credit card use, whichever is the greater.”

But whether the law applies to a ticketing company is up for debate.

In a letter to the Arkansas Supreme Court, Moody asked whether the code would cover “an exclusive agent of a public facility who sells music entertainment tickets” that include additional fees, resulting in the ticket price costing more than the “face value and advertised price of the ticket.”

The state Supreme Court accepted Moody’s question July 27. The court will examine briefs from McMillan and LN before rendering a decision.