Yesterday, reports out of Canada alleged Ticketmaster has been funding and running its own scalping racket. An undercover investigation published by CBC claims Ticketmaster is using its invite-only proprietary platform TradeDesk to enable resellers to buy tickets in bulk from the official Ticketmaster site, and sell them on with a substantial mark-up.
In a statement emailed to TIO, Ticketmaster has said no such program is in place.
“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,” read the statement.
Ticketmaster referred to its Seller Code of Conduct in the statement, saying it “specifically prohibits resellers from purchasing tickets that exceed the posted ticket limit for an event.”
The statement said its 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.”
Ticketmaster has confirmed its ownership of TradeDesk but said it does not condone any of the comments made by its employees to the two undercover reporters who spoke to Ticketmaster reps at two live-entertainment conferences in March and July.
The undercover journalists attended a video demonstration at a conference where media wasn’t invited. According to reports, a Ticketmaster employee said 100 scalpers in North America are using TradeDesk: “I think our biggest broker right now has probably grabbed around 5 million,” he said.
“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),” said Ticketmaster in today’s statement. “We do not condone the statements made by the employee as the conduct described clearly violates our terms of service.”
Ticketmaster has said it has begun an internal review of its 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.”