Leadership / 11.30.18
Ticketmaster Collusion Claims Could Spur Federal Regulation
Law360 (11/30/18) Zagger, Zachary; Eslinger, Bonnie; Bernardini, Matt
A proposed class action suit filed in September alleges that Ticketmaster is clandestinely colluding with brokers to "cash in twice" on fees it garners when selling tickets, despite the firm's public assertion that it prevents resellers from buying up tickets to the most popular events. Attorney Carla Varriale says this "double-dipping [and] colluding with scalpers is under the microscope now. And it really starts to look like anti-competitive behavior, anti-consumer behavior leading to market distortion, higher prices, all sorts of bad things." U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.) has urged the Department of Justice "to conduct a thorough investigation of anti-competitive behavior by monopolistic Ticketmaster to root out speculation and anti-consumer behavior in the opaque ticket marketplace" and "take strong steps to address any and all consent decree violation." In addition, the Federal Trade Commission announced its intent to more closely investigate competition, price, and availability issues in the online ticket marketplace in a "workshop" next March. Experts say Ticketmaster's collusion, if proven, could trigger a cascade of consumer protection lawsuits against the company throughout the U.S. The allegations are especially worrisome because Ticketmaster owns much of the primary ticket market via its 2010 merger with Live Nation. "It is sort of right now a little bit of the Wild West and what you are seeing in response to that is calls for further scrutiny, calls for an investigation," Varriale notes.
Read the full article on the Law360 website.
Tags: Ticketmaster, News