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TM software not illegal, says Canada watchdog

Canadian Competition Bureau concludes investigation into TradeDesk, but will pursue litigation to stop drip pricing of tickets

By Anna Grace on 01 Feb 2019

Ticketmaster investigation

image © CBC

The Canadian Competition Bureau has closed its investigation into Ticketmaster’s TradeDesk, concluding the software does not contravene federal competition legislation.

The Competition Bureau, a Canadian government agency responsible for enforcing competition law, investigated the matter following allegations that Ticketmaster was facilitating the mass touting of tickets by enabling professional resellers to bulk-buy primary inventory and then sell it on the secondary market using TradeDesk, with the covert approval of Ticketmaster employees.

The company strenuously denied the allegations, with Ticketmaster North America president Jared Smith stating: “Ticketmaster does not have, and has never had, any programme or product that helps professional resellers gain an advantage to buy tickets ahead of fans.”

“We remain committed to advancing our ongoing litigation”

The Competition Bureau concluded that the company’s conduct did not contravene any rulings after reviewing public allegations, complaints and video evidence, as well as examining Ticketmaster’s behaviour, marketing practices and industry interactions.

The competition watchdog will, however, continue to pursue ongoing litigation against Ticketmaster, Live Nation and affiliated companies with regards to alleged misleading advertising in its ticket pricing.

“The Competition Act is the best tool to crack down on false or misleading representations, including misleading ticket price advertising,” says Matthew Bossell, the bureau’s interim commissioner for competition.

“That’s why we sued Ticketmaster, and we remain committed to advancing our ongoing litigation.”


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