Editor’s note (9/21): The original headline of this article implied that Ticketmaster called CBC and the Toronto Star‘s report “categorically untrue.” In its statement, the company was referring to “any program in place to enable resellers to acquire large volumes of tickets at the expense of consumers” as untrue and not the report itself. Rolling Stone has changed the headline to reflect this and regrets the error.
Ticket sales giant Ticketmaster has responded to an undercover investigation by CBC News and the Toronto Star, calling the publications’ reports of ticket-scalping collusion “categorically untrue.”
The two publications sent journalists to a live entertainment convention in Las Vegas this summer, where Ticketmaster employees reportedly pitched them on a custom-developed platform called TradeDesk, through which the company helps facilitate large-scale ticket resale, generating extra fees for Ticketmaster — essentially, running a mass-scalping program.
In its statement Thursday, Ticketmaster, which is owned by the live entertainment conglomerate Live Nation, says it does “not condone the statements made by the employee” who provided that information about TradeDesk. While it confirms that TradeDesk is a professional reseller product allowing resellers to “validate and distribute tickets to multiple marketplaces,” it says its seller code of conduct “specifically prohibits” the behaviors described in the investigation.
Read Ticketmaster’s 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.