Senators are calling on Ticketmaster following the investigative report that revealed an apparent mass scalping / resale program. Specifically, Senators Jerry Moran and Richard Blumenthal have addressed Ticketmaster CEO Michael Rapino in light of the recent allegations against his company.
Moran and Blumenthal jointly helped pass the BOTS Act, an effort to limit the use of bots in ticket purchasing. Now, they want to know specifics about Ticketmaster’s operations and how the resale program TradeDesk is used.
“Citing examples of TradeDesk users moving up to several million tickets per year” — the letter below states — “the allegations of the harms to consumers made in this piece are serious and deserve immediate attention.”
If Ticketmaster is indeed colluding with scalpers, it will undoubtedly damage the integrity of the company, in betraying ticket buyers everywhere.
The senators seek a response by October 5th. Read the letter below via Rolling Stone.
Senators’ Letter To Ticketmaster CEO
Dear Mr. Rapino:
CBC News reported on September 19th that Ticketmaster, the live-event ticket sales and distribution subsidiary of Live Nation Entertainment, recruits and employs professional ticket scalpers to circumvent the ticket purchasing limits on its own primary ticket sales platform in an effort to expand its ticket resale division. According to the article, Ticketmaster utilizes a professional reseller program called TradeDesk, which provides a web-based inventory for scalpers to effectively purchase large quantities of tickets from Ticketmaster’s primary ticket sales website and resell these tickets for higher prices on its own resale platform. Citing examples of TradeDesk users moving up to several million tickets per year, the allegations of the harms to consumers made in this piece are serious and deserve immediate attention.
Given our ongoing interest in protecting consumers from unfair and deceptive practices, we seek clarification on the use of this program. The enacted Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016 prohibits the “circumvention of a security measure, access control system, or other technological control or measure on an Internet website or online service that is used by the ticket issuer to enforce posted event ticket purchasing limits or to maintain the integrity of posted online ticket purchasing order rule.” Please provide responses to the following questions:
Describe the event ticket purchasing limits that Ticketmaster currently employs for sales on its primary ticket sales platform. Additionally, how does the company identify computer programs used to circumvent these purchasing limits?
Do Ticketmaster’s ticket purchasing limits and associated detection practices apply to users of its online program, TradeDesk? If not, please explain.
What are the specific rules and processes of compliance for participating TradeDesk users as it relates to ticket purchasing limits and other relevant consumer protection priorities? Please share any documents and guidance materials that are provided to TradeDesk users.
What role does Ticketmaster’s Professional Reseller Handbook play in deterring its resellers from engaging in illegal ticket purchasing activities?
Please provide your written response as soon as possible, but no later than 5 p.m. on October 5, 2018. Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.
Source: Rolling Stone