[Photo: Flickr/Magnus D]
Sotos Class Actions, a class action firm, has launched a lawsuit seeking $250 million in damages on behalf of people who purchased resold tickets from Ticketmaster Canada Holdings ULC for live events occurring in Canada starting on Sept. 1, 2013. Additionally, the Competition Bureau has expanded its investigation into Ticketmaster. Both of these events are part of the fallout from a joint CBC and Toronto Star investigation into Ticketmaster's so-called secret scalper program.
Ticketmaster is the largest ticket marketing platform in North America. For several years ticket buyers have complained that regularly-priced tickets are often unavailable at the time that they purportedly go on sale, while tickets from resellers show up for sale contemporaneously, including on the Ticketmaster platform, at prices much higher than the face value.
Ticketmaster profits from the resale by taking an additional commission off the resale, in addition to the fee that it takes from the primary sale.
Lead counsel for the class, Louis Sokolov, said "the media investigation has provided strong evidence of what many ticket buyers have long suspected – the market is rigged in favour of resellers and against consumers. If true, Canadian consumers have paid many millions of dollars for inflated ticket prices and additional fees. The aim of this lawsuit is to stop those practices and return the money to Canadian ticket buyers."