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Canada’s Competition Bureau Sues Ticketmaster, Live Nation Over “Deceptive” Ticketing Fees

Canada’s Competition Bureau is taking legal action against Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation for allegedly advertising deceptive ticket prices.

The Competition Bureau, a Canadian government organization responsible for enforcing fair business practices, has alleged that the companies are “making deceptive claims to consumers when advertising prices for sports and entertainment tickets.” According to a press release from the Bureau, a recent investigation revealed the practice of adding additional fees—known in the industry as “drip pricing”—often results in consumers paying inflated tickets prices. While Ticketmaster’s mandatory fees tend to inflate advertised prices by around 20%, some revealed inflated prices as high as 65% more than the ticket’s original cost.

“In July, we called on ticket vendors to review their marketing practices. Today, we are filing an application with the Tribunal to stop Ticketmaster from making deceptive claims to consumers,” John Peckman, the Bureau’s Commissioner of Competition, shared in a statement. “Together, these actions send a strong signal to online retailers: consumers must have confidence that advertised prices are the ones they will pay.”

In response to these allegations, a spokesperson on behalf of Ticketmaster shared that the company will “[continue] to work closely with provincial governments to enhance consumer protection.” “Ticketmaster remains committed to getting tickets into the hands of fans and has long practiced transparency to enable informed purchasing decisions,” the statement says. “Ticketmaster continues to work closely with provincial governments to enhance consumer protection and provide the best ticketing experience for fans.”