Class Action Lawsuit Launched Against Ticketmaster in Ontario - Are You Eligible? - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-09-2009, 11:45 PM   #1
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Class Action Lawsuit Launched Against Ticketmaster in Ontario - Are You Eligible?

The Canadian Press: Lawsuit against Ticketmaster alleges conspiracy to resell tickets at higher prices

Lawsuit against Ticketmaster alleges conspiracy to resell tickets at higher prices

6 hours ago

TORONTO — Ticketmaster is diverting tickets to its online resale site TicketsNow as part of a "disgraceful" conspiracy to force customers to pay the highest possible price for sporting and entertainment events, a class-action lawsuit launched Monday alleges.

The resale practice violates anti-scalping provisions laid out in Ontario's Ticket Speculation Act, the statement of action filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice contends.

The defendants "wrongfully, unlawfully (and) maliciously conspired" to sell tickets at a higher price, states the suit, which seeks $500 million in damages for the conspiracy and $10 million for punitive damages.

"Ticketmaster and Ticketmaster Canada divert consumer traffic from their websites to the TicketsNow website," the court documents read.

"This practice is designed to ensure the sale of tickets at the highest possible price, and, in all cases, at a price substantially higher than the price at which the tickets were first issued."

The allegations have not been proven in court and Ticketmaster has not yet filed a statement of defence.

Ticketmaster purchased TicketsNow last year for US$265 million, and takes a slice of every ticket resold through TicketsNow in addition to the original service charges it levies when tickets are first sold.

The Vancouver-and Toronto-based law firms that launched the suit said people who were allegedly overcharged when they bought tickets from Ticketmaster or TicketsNow.com after February 2007 will be represented.

The suit was filed on behalf of Henryk Krajewski of Toronto, who in September 2008 purchased two tickets for a Smashing Pumpkins show at Massey Hall from TicketsNow for $533.65, the court documents state. The tickets would have cost about $130 if they had been available from Ticketmaster.

"Henryk pleads that the conduct of the defendants was high-handed, outrageous, reckless, wanton, entirely without care, deliberate, callous, disgraceful, wilful and motivated by economic considerations," reads the statement.

A Ticketmaster representative wasn't available Monday to respond to the suit.

In a recent interview with The Canadian Press, a company official said they do not divert tickets to TicketsNow or give the resale site any preferential access or treatment.

The company claimed it's providing consumers with a resale service that they want, and one that guarantees resale tickets are not counterfeit.

Last week, Bruce Springsteen said he was furious with Ticketmaster for redirecting his fans to TicketsNow, where tickets for his homecoming show at the New Jersey Meadowlands were being offered at hundreds of dollars above face value.

New Jersey's attorney general, Anne Milgram, said last week she had asked for more information about the company's sales practices after the state received more than 1,000 complaints. Milgram said redirecting ticket buyers to TicketsNow may violate the state's consumer fraud act.

Lawyer Jay Strosberg of Sutts, Strosberg LLP, one of the two firms behind the Ontario lawsuit, said there has been a lot of interest in the Ticketmaster-TicketsNow situation since Springsteen spoke out.

"Somebody has to address this type of conduct," Strosberg said.

"How the transaction happens, in the sense that the primary market actually also controls the secondary market, raises a lot of questions that deserve answers."

Strosberg said people deserve access to entertainment at reasonable prices.

"As far as we're concerned, this conduct may violate the Ticket Speculation Act."

Ticketmaster has said in response to prior complaints that the company's ticket-selling system is fair and doesn't violate the law.



The class action legal website:

Ticketmaster/TicketsNow class action

1. Sutts, Strosberg LLP (Windsor and Toronto) and Branch MacMaster (Vancouver) are counsel in a proposed class action against Ticketmaster, TicketsNow and two other Ticketmaster companies.

2. The action has been commenced on behalf of all persons in Ontario who purchased a ticket on or after February 9, 2007 from Ticketmaster or TicketsNow for an event in the Province of Ontario.

3. The plaintiff alleges that the defendants conspired to breach Ontario’s “anti-scalping” legislation.

4. The plaintiff also alleges that Ticketmaster has and continues to deliberately limit the number of tickets that are sold in the primary market at face price and instead, diverts tickets to the secondary market where they can be sold for amounts that exceed their face value.

5. The plaintiff seeks, among other thing, damages in an amount equal to the difference between the price the class members’ paid for the tickets and the face price of the tickets.

6. If you purchased a ticket from Ticketmaster or from TicketsNow for an event in Ontario, you may be able to participate in this action. To do so, please provide the information requested on the Communication page of this website or call one of the following lawyers:





Yay! I hope something comes of this and that they'll not only nail these bastards in Ontario, but that other jurisdictions will join in to stop their insanely shitty business practices.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:48 PM   #2
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If Bruce hops on board this, I think Ticketmaster might be in some trouble.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:48 PM   #3
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Once the Ticketmaster/LiveNation merger happens, won't they pretty much be able to invade Canada and enslave all of you?
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:54 PM   #4
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Once the Ticketmaster/LiveNation merger happens, won't they pretty much be able to invade Canada and enslave all of you?
If NSW and his minions can't manage an invasion, do you honestly think that TM has a chance? Merger or not?

I want every music fan in Ontario to know about this. I hate, hate, HATE them. Fight the power! Viva la revolucion!


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If Bruce hops on board this, I think Ticketmaster might be in some trouble.
Pearl Jam took them on in the 90s, and that didn't really ever amount to much. This is a completely different issue, though, so maybe something will actually be done this time.

From wiki:

In 1994, the rock band Pearl Jam appealed to the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice, complaining that Ticketmaster adopted monopolistic practices and refused to lower service fees for the band's tickets. At the time, Pearl Jam wanted to keep ticket prices under $20 for their fans, with service charges no greater than $1.80. The company had exclusive contracts with many of the large venues in the United States and threatened to take legal action if those contracts were broken. The Justice Department ruled in favor of Ticketmaster, which culminated in the cancellation of the 1994 Pearl Jam tour. Four years later, Pearl Jam resumed their relationship with Ticketmaster. [9] [10] [11]

The ruling did not dispute Ticketmaster's monopoly, but claimed that venues (not bands) were the proper plaintiffs in an antitrust case[12]:

It is the Plaintiffs['] own allegations in the Complaint which show that they are not best suited to bring this claim against Ticketmaster. If a violation has occurred, the appropriate party is a venue or class of venues and promoters who are the ones who "consume" Ticketmaster's product; they are the ones who would suffer any direct loss if there is [s]upracompetitive pricing in the fee contracts due to Ticketmaster's alleged monopoly power.
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:10 PM   #5
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I'm completely shocked that this thread sunk to page 2, when this should be a huge issue for all of us here, as music lovers and concert goers.

Anyway, here's more:

Ticketmaster Faces Scalping Lawsuit in Canada, Blames “Glitch” For Springsteen Debacle : Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily

Ticketmaster Faces Scalping Lawsuit in Canada, Blames “Glitch” For Springsteen Debacle

Hours before Live Nation and Ticketmaster revealed final merger plans, an Ontario man filed a class action lawsuit against Ticketmaster in Canada after he was maneuvered to the secondary ticket site TicketsNow while trying to buy seats for a Smashing Pumpkins show in November 2008. In a situation eerily similar to the one that plagued Bruce Springsteen fans last week, the $410 million lawsuit alleges Henry Krajewski was redirected to TicketsNow after failing to buy C$66.50 (Canadian dollars) Smashing Pumpkins tickets; he instead paid C$533.65 for a pair of tix using the TicketsNow site as prompted by Ticketmaster. Ontario is a province where there are laws against reselling tickets on the secondary market at more than their face value, according to Billboard.biz.

During today’s merger phone conference, Live Nation’s Michael Rapino spoke out against the suit, saying “class action lawsuits have no merit, it’s like chasing cars down the road.” Referring to Ticketmaster’s problems regarding redirects to TicketNow, he added, “There was actually a glitch in the system that had nothing to do with availability of the tickets, it had to do with Visa [credit cards] that couldn’t process the data and so it froze the system

“There were people who misunderstood what we did and we said if anyone who brought tickets at a higher price we’d make them good for that. There was no real controversy here,” he added. “The issue is that there is a secondary market. That has existed for a long time, now it’s called secondary, it used to be called scalpers, that is a reality. It has been the reality for a very long time and in which all sorts of practices go on. What Ticketmaster has done in entering the business is try to make it transparent and will continue to make it more and more transparent and make it secure.”

Rapino admitted that there have been some “hiccups” in the system, as Phish and Springsteen fans can attest, but “we are adjusting daily to make sure our system can handle our summer load and it will be business as usual.”


**********

Last night I was watching an hour-long phone in legal show, and this is the topic they were covering. The host read parts of Ontario's law, which is called The Ontario Ticket Speculation Act. From what he said, it sounds pretty clear that the resale of tickets above face value is illegal, period, and it's also illegal to purchase tickets with the intent of selling them at a value higher than face.

So, if this is the case, why are people so blatantly doing it? Not just shady guys standing outside of arenas, but legitimate businesses, Ticketmaster included?

One of the callers to the show last night said he's a "ticket broker," and has been for 30 years. He states that he charges taxes when selling tickets, which he remits to the government. So the government is complicit in this, too? Wtf? Am I missing something here? Can someone explain to me how this is possible? Here's a fun piece of trivia as told by the ticket broker mentioned last night: at a venue like the ACC in Toronto, with approx. 20,000 seats available, for an event like Springsteen, there are actually only 10,000 tickets available for public sale. Some go to seat holders who have first right of refusal, but what's happening to the rest? He implied that Ticketmaster has very shifty practices in place as far as ticket allotments go.

Also, in the above article, Ticketmaster makes it sounds as though these have been isolated incidents that have occurred for just a few ticket sales. From the people calling in last night, this isn't the case, this happens all the time.

I only went to a handful of concerts last year, and I don't remember ever being redirected to TicketsNow - unless it was something I logged into well after the tickets had gone on sale, in which case, I looked at the TicketsNow prices, laughed, and then closed the window. But a lot of the callers last night were saying that they were redirected to TicketsNow as soon as the sale started, and that some of them purchased the tickets at incredibly high prices, without realizing that they were paying over face. Just about everyone here is too smart to fall for that shit, but I guess there are some consumers out there who aren't all that ticket-savvy, and they've gotten screwed.

This whole thing just infuriates and baffles me.
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:14 PM   #6
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other than the $10 and more in "convenience charges" ( ) I haven't encountered anything like this using ticketbastard so far...

How is it convenient I ask?
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:18 PM   #7
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I skimmed the first few sentences, VP. Maybe there's not that many of you on the board in Ontario ? If this happened in America , maybe there'd be more interest?

\driveby
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:20 PM   #8
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Honestly, I'm interested but just assume nothing will come of it, since Ticketmaster just keeps continuing on like the evil rat bastards they are.

I'd be thrilled if they are finally forced to change their practices.
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:21 PM   #9
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I don't even bother fighting Ticketmaster anymore. I just bring my money, lube, and a piece of leather to bite down on and get it over with.
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:24 PM   #10
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When I heard that TM and LN were to merge.....
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:28 PM   #11
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When at all possible I try to avoid Ticketmaster by buying directly through the box office. I wish I could do that all the time.

I am not sure how this merger is allowed to happen. Who is left as competition to Ticketmaster besides the black market?
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by elevated_u2_fan View Post
other than the $10 and more in "convenience charges" ( ) I haven't encountered anything like this using ticketbastard so far...

How is it convenient I ask?
Elfa, the lawyers are asking anyone who has purchased tickets to give their info, not just ones who purchased through TicketsNow. I think there's an element of the suit saying that their fees are unfair too, and there's a chance that they can get some of the fees going back to Feb '07 refunded.

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Originally Posted by Lila64 View Post
I skimmed the first few sentences, VP. Maybe there's not that many of you on the board in Ontario ? If this happened in America , maybe there'd be more interest?

\driveby
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Originally Posted by corianderstem View Post
Honestly, I'm interested but just assume nothing will come of it, since Ticketmaster just keeps continuing on like the evil rat bastards they are.

I'd be thrilled if they are finally forced to change their practices.
Lila, Cori, that's the whole thing. Hopefully this Ontario suit is the start of something larger. I saw on tv last night that in Canada, several other provinces are expected to file suits, and there is the whole Springsteen thing that happened in NY state that has gotten a lot of attention (I've seen NY politicians talking about it on tv), and I expect something will be filed there, too.

I just wish people would get more angry about this, you know? Maybe they really can do something about it, this time. Then again, maybe I'm just an eternal optimist.

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I just bring my money, lube, and a piece of leather to bite down on and get it over with.
Isn't that just a typical Saturday night for you?
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:35 PM   #13
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It's that just a typical Saturday night for you?
I'm hurt by that, VP.


I do NOT fuck around on the Sabbath.
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:36 PM   #14
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I am not sure how this merger is allowed to happen. Who is left as competition to Ticketmaster besides the black market?
That would suck for Canada cause there are only 6-7 (depending on whether or not you count Jerome Ignla) black people in all of the frozen Tundra.
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:36 PM   #15
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Hopefully this Ontario suit is the start of something larger.
Exactly.
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