Ticketmaster has secret deals with scalpers and getting cut of profits, undercover report finds

(WSVN) - Ticketmaster is being accused of colluding with scalpers and taking a cut of the profits, according to a new undercover report.

The investigation by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Toronto Star claims the ticket selling retailer has a secret program that helps scalpers buy tickets and resell them at a higher price.

Journalists wore hidden cameras and posed as scalpers with a ficticious promotions company at a live entertainment conventioni in Las Vegas over the summer. That’s where Ticketmaster representatives manning a booth were pitching a company-owned resale platform called TradeDesk.

It works by letting scalpers set up fake accounts to buy tickets in bulk on Ticketmaster’s website, which sets a limit on how many tickets can be purchased by each person. The large inventory of tickets purchased can then be sold on TradeDesk at higher prices, of which Ticketmaster gets a cut of each purchase.

When asked if the company will prohibit the use of multiple accounts, a Ticketmaster representative replied, “No, I have a gentleman who’s got over 200 Ticketmaster.com accounts.”

With the program, Ticketmaster makes money off of the initial ticket sale to the scalper, as well as a cut of the scalper’s sale to the buyer.

Though Ticketmaster appeared to be promoting TradeDesk at the convention, the CBC points out there is no mention of the reseller program on Ticketmaster’s website or corporate reports.

In response to the report, Ticketmaster says it does not condone the statements made by the employee, and says the described behavior “clearly violates our terms of service.”

Read Ticketmaster’s full statement below:

It is categorically untrue that Ticketmaster has any program in place to enable resellers to acquire large volumes of tickets at the expense of consumers.

Ticketmaster’s Seller Code of Conduct specifically prohibits resellers from purchasing tickets that exceed the posted ticket limit for an event. In addition, our policy also prohibits the creation of fictitious user accounts for the purpose of circumventing ticket limit detection in order to amass tickets intended for resale.

A recent CBC story found that an employee of Ticketmaster’s resale division acknowledged being aware of some resellers having as many as 200 TradeDesk accounts for this purpose (TradeDesk is Ticketmaster’s professional reseller product that allows resellers to validate and distribute tickets to multiple marketplaces). We do not condone the statements made by the employee as the conduct described clearly violates our terms of service.

The company had already begun an internal review of our professional reseller accounts and employee practices to ensure that our policies are being upheld by all stakeholders. Moving forward we will be putting additional measures in place to proactively monitor for this type of inappropriate activity.

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