Music Industry

Could this be why the Federal Competition Bureau dismissed the Ticketmaster TradeDesk case?

In case you missed it last week, the Federal Competition Bureau dismissed any allegations of wrongdoing by Ticketmaster regarding its TradeDesk division.

The complaint was that TradeDesk allowed people holding dozens or even hundreds of Ticketmaster accounts to buy tickets in such a way they were almost instantaneously posted for sale on the secondary market.

This allegedly gave these entities an advantage at acquiring tickets over everyday people. Want tickets to a hot show? Then prepare to pay far beyond face value on the secondary market.

The case went before the Competition Bureau in Ottawa which launched an investigation. Last week, it said that they didn’t find any contravention of the Competition Act.

Here’s a quote from the Interim Commissioner of the Competition Bureau: “The Competition Act is the best tool to crack down on false or misleading representations, including misleading ticket price advertising. That’s why we sued Ticketmaster, and we remain committed to advancing our ongoing litigation.”

Wait. What? How did they come to that conclusion? They haven’t said, really. Consumers are understandably confused and angry.

John sent an email with this possible explanation.

“I think the reason this didn’t go anywhere is that no fixed competition has occurred. No group of companies selling the same product or service all agreed to sell at a price or margin of profit. The most recent would be Loblaw’s. (Details here.)

“This is more fixing a marketplace. That’s why I think it is more related to Consumer Affairs. The consumer is never given a fair chance to purchase tickets at the price agreed upon with the entertainer or entertainment. They have set up and encouraged the tickets not to end up in the consumers’ hands from the first sale but mostly in resellers hands.

“They are not functioning with the consumers best interest and not in the entertainers’ interest either. The pricing inflated, the entertainer might not have the audience they wanted at the show or may not sell well, leaving seating empty. It would be interesting to read an agreement an entertainer signed with ticket monster for services provided.

“That could be where they have left themselves open to trouble with encouraging resellers. They have played the consumer, the entertainment and fixed the market all their favour.”


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38061 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

2 thoughts on “Could this be why the Federal Competition Bureau dismissed the Ticketmaster TradeDesk case?

  • So Ticketmaster has created competition, with itself ???????? Obviously no person on the Competition Bureau has attempted to purchase tickets for an event through TicketMonster. (Like that name) Another frustrating outcome, when you do find available tickets the tickets are sold in US dollars despite the concert being in Canada. Im one of those losers who have paid US bucks for a concert at the Amphitheatre, which I can walk to………

  • I just won’t buy tickets for shows that Ticketmaster tickets. Simple! So what I miss shows I want to see… Eventually the artists, mangers and promoters will step in and demand changes. But then again EVERYONE needs to do this or Ticketmaster wins


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