Fans of live entertainment flipped out yesterday (Sept. 20) after an investigative report claimed Ticketmaster has been colluding with ticket scalpers; the report said that some resellers have hundreds of TradeDesk accounts, a program Ticketmaster developed that helps scalpers buy and immediately resell large quantities of tickets at a higher price. In the report, TradeDesk reps admitted to turning a blind eye to scalpers who use ticket-buying bots. “I have brokers that have literally a couple hundred accounts,” one sales rep said. “It’s not something we look at or report.”

In response to the CBC News / Toronto Star piece, Ticketmaster has now denied the reporting, but claim to be conducting an internal review of their TradeDesk service. "We do not condone the statements made by the employee as the conduct described clearly violates our terms of service," the company said in a statement published by USA Today yesterday (September 20).

Ticketmaster collect extra revenue from TradeDesk resales. If Ticketmaster sells a ticket for $209.50, the company will get $25.75 from its main site. However, of that same ticket is resold for $400 on TradeDesk, Ticketmaster will grab an additional $76.

In response to the CBC report, Ticketmaster released the following statement:

It is categorically untrue that Ticketmaster has any program in place to enable resellers to acquire large volumes of tickets at the expense of consumers.

Ticketmaster’s Seller Code of Conduct specifically prohibits resellers from purchasing tickets that exceed the posted ticket limit for an event.  In addition, our policy also prohibits the creation of fictitious user accounts for the purpose of circumventing ticket limit detection in order to amass tickets intended for resale.

A recent CBC story found that an employee of Ticketmaster’s resale division acknowledged being aware of some resellers having as many as 200 TradeDesk accounts for this purpose (TradeDesk is Ticketmaster’s professional reseller product that allows resellers to validate and distribute tickets to multiple marketplaces).  We do not condone the statements made by the employee as the conduct described clearly violates our terms of service.

The company had already begun an internal review of our professional reseller accounts and employee practices to ensure that our policies are being upheld by all stakeholders. Moving forward we will be putting additional measures in place to proactively monitor for this type of inappropriate activity.

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