Amid outcry over enabling scalpers, Ticketmaster revises its messaging

A blockbuster CBC report reveals a lucrative back channel for ticket reselling. After an initial shrug, the massive vendor has vowed to crack down on the practice. Critics aren’t buying it.

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After reporters went undercover to reveal the underbelly of the ticket-reselling ecosystem, Ticketmaster was in a PR pickle.

Reporters from the Toronto Star and CBC News attended a ticket-selling conference in Las Vegas where representatives from Ticketmaster seemed ready to help would-be scalpers circumvent the company’s marketplace safeguards. The ticketing platform is a subsidiary of Live Nation and controls much of the live event ticket trade in North America.

The controversy centers around a product called TradeDesk that helps scalpers resell tickets.

NPR reported:

In footage obtained by the journalists, a man purported to be a TradeDesk sales representative told them that the scalpers he works with have “literally a couple of hundred” accounts apiece — a violation of Ticketmaster’s own terms of use — through which they can buy huge swaths of tickets for resale, and that Ticketmaster’s “buyer abuse” division does not investigate at least some TradeDesk users.

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