Canada To Launch Ticketmaster Probe


TORONTO (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Compounding woes for Ticketmaster, the Canadian Competition Bureau and the Attorney General of Canada have announced that they will be investigating complaints that the company provides tickets to its secondary ticket market subsidiary, TicketsNow.com.

The investigation stems from complaints by fans that Leonard Cohen tickets were pulled from Ticketmaster's website, only to appear moments later on TicketsNow for hundreds of dollars more than the face value of the ticket, the Canadian Press reported. While Ticketmaster does not sell tickets directly on TicketsNow, the firm does take a percentage of each ticket sold on the website.

"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," said Industry Minister Tony Clement during a press conference on Wednesday. "I'm not going to prejudge that investigation but I think it's worthy of investigation."

The Cohen flap appears to mirror a similar controversy over Bruce Springsteen tickets that led to outraged fans and Ticketmaster paying a $350,000 settlement to the state of New Jersey.

Ticketmaster continues to contend that there's no fire to all of this smoke.

"Unfortunately, there is a misperception that Ticketmaster is diverting tickets from the primary market to TicketsNow; it is not," Ticketmaster spokesman Albert Lopez told the Canadian Press. "Some resellers have been posting tickets for sale that they do not yet own on TicketsNow and elsewhere, and Ticketmaster and TicketsNow have been leaders in addressing this issue, starting with our recently announced policy to no longer allow the prelisting of concert tickets." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers