LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — Ticketmaster is facing at least two potential class action lawsuits after the Toronto Star and CBC reported on the company’s alleged broker friendly business practices.
Regina based lawyer Tony Merchant told the CBC that he plans to sue Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation, alleging the entertainment giant mislead consumers on ticket prices.
Merchant, who already has a class action suit against Ticketmaster over allegedly inflated prices told the CBC, he’s planning to expand the suit based on the Toronto Star/CBC reporting. Merchant said he would open the class to all Canadian citizens who have been affected by Ticketmaster and believes the damages could amount to more than $100 million.
“It’s a result of the Star/CBC investigation that got us looking at whether we can advance a claim successfully for breach of competition and consumer affairs legislation,” Merchant told the CBC. “We knew about the issues of scalpers. But we did not know there was evidence available of them working conjunctively with scalpers. Getting those things on camera are things a court will listen to … You’ve sent us back to the drawing board. ”
In the U.S., the consumer litigation law firm Hagens Berman launched a solicitation for class members for a suit to seek “relief for the many Ticketmaster customers who purchased inflated resale tickets through TradeDesk” as well as an injunction to end Live Nation to end its involvement in the business.
“Reports indicate that Ticketmaster accepts kickbacks by secretly facilitating ticket sales through scalpers at a higher cost, collecting profits from both the original and secondary sales of tickets,” the firm wrote in its solicitation. “Ticketmaster has actually facilitated the sale of tickets to the secondary market in order to receive a second cut on each ticket — one that is even more than the cut Ticketmaster received on the original ticket sale.”
The timing of the Toronto Star/CBC revelations came at a particularly bad time for Ticketmaster as the secondary market is receiving renewed scrutiny in the UK, Canada and the U.S.
In the UK, government market regulators have launched legal action against Viagogo, a key player in the secondary market there, alleging deceptive pricing. In the U.S., New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood launched a lawsuit against TicketNetwork over broker drop-shipping practices and in Canada, the Competition Bureau filed suit against Ticketmaster earlier this year over what it contends are misleading ticket prices.
In a carefully worded statement following the Star/CBC reporting, Ticketmaster categorically denied having any system in place to enable resellers to acquire large volumes of tickets at the expense of consumers.