Canadian Agency Continues Fight Over Ticketing Fees

– Ticketmaster

An independent Canadian law enforcement agency is continuing its battle against Ticketmaster and Live Nation, claiming their use of fees is not standard for online commerce and is deceptive.

The Competition Bureau filed an application with the Competition Tribunal to end the practice of adding mandatory fees to ticket prices in January, and recently responded to the ticketing giant’s claims that consumers know to expect fees.

“Any bald suggestion that consumers would somehow be able to divine the actual cost of tickets before the Respondents choose to reveal them is simply incorrect,” the commissioner of competition said in a March 27 filing, according to the Financial Post. “Many other e-commerce companies, when promoting other products to consumers, present prices that are in fact attainable as the first price consumers see.”

The original filing from the Competition Bureau said service fees, facility charges and order processing often inflate prices by more than 20 percent and sometimes up to 65 percent. The agency seeks to force TM to list actual prices including fees throughout each transaction, along with an administrative monetary penalty.

At the time of the initial filing, a representative for Ticketmaster told Pollstar in a statement: “Ticketmaster remains committed to getting tickets into the hands of fans and has long practiced transparency to enable informed purchasing decisions.

“Ticketmaster continues to work closely with Provincial governments to enhance consumer protection and provide the best ticketing experience for fans.” – Francisco Rendon