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Let’s examine this new class action lawsuit against Ticketmaster involving Drake tickets.

 LPC Avocat Inc., a Montreal law firm. has launched a class action lawsuit against Ticketmaster, saying that the ticket seller  “intentionally misleads consumers for their own financial gain.” Here’s the argument.

A Montreal bought two tickets for Drake’s “It’s All a Blur” show at the Bell Centre, scheduled for July 14, spending $789.54 for each “Official Platinum” ticket. When the show sold out, the promoter added a second show. The same Official Platinum tickets were made available for $350 less.

I quote from the lawsuit: “Ticketmaster unilaterally decides which tickets it advertises and sells as ‘Official Platinum’ based on a given event. The result is that most, if not all, of the tickets advertised and sold as ‘Official Platinum’, are neither ‘premium tickets’ nor ‘some of the best seats in the house’ and are, in fact, just regular tickets sold by Ticketmaster at an artificially inflated premium in bad faith.”

The suit then alleges Ticketmaster knew all about the second show but sat on this information in order to “squeeze out” as much money as it could from music fans.

The Toronto Star reports that the plaintiffs are seeking “compensatory damages in the aggregate amount of the difference between the prices charged for ‘Official Platinum’ tickets and what their regular price ought to have been,” per the complaint. They’re also seeking $300 per customer in punitive damages.

It’s an interesting argument, but Ticketmaster isn’t the entity that declares a second show is warranted. That’s at the discretion of the promoter. There may have been a hold on the venue in anticipation of a second show, but that would only be triggered by a solid sell-out of the first show.

Yes, TIcketmaster would have been aware that a second show was possible but until the promoter asked for it, Ticketmaster would have conducted business as if there was only going to be one show.

And Ticketmaster doesn’t work in a vacuum. Ticketmaster does not set ticket prices. They sell tickets at the prices dictated by the act and the promoter.

The reporting on the lawsuit doesn’t make it clear under what circumstances those $789.54 Official Platinum tickets were sold. What was the face value of those tickets? Did the plaintiff purchase them directly from Ticketmaster or through Ticketmaster’s reseller site? Were dynamic pricing protocols in place for that first show? And what did those Official Platinum tickets finally sell for?

Bottom line is that there’s a lot we don’t know about this class action suit to make a judgement on its merits. But we do know this: it’s not as simple as it seems on the surface.

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 38165 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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