According to an article issued by the Government of Canada website, Ticketmaster has been fined $3.4 million US dollars by the Canadian government for adding mandatory fees late in the purchase process that have been deemed “not attainable”, based on how Ticketmaster advertises their prices. The Competition Bureau of Canada came to the conclusion that Ticketmaster has been allegedly using these fees to mark up their tickets by as much as 65%. The Canadian government has taken several steps in recent years to combat Ticketmaster and similar ticket-reselling websites’ abuse of consumers through the use of these pricey fees. Their attack of these practices began in 2017 with a public statement demanding that, “sporting and entertainment vendors to review their marketing practices and display the real price of tickets upfront”.
In a clear condemnation of these business practices, Commissioner of Competition Matthew Boswell said, “Canadians should be able to trust that the prices advertised are the ones they will pay when purchasing tickets online. The Bureau will remain vigilant and will not tolerate misleading representations. The Bureau expects all ticket vendors to take note and review their marketing practices, knowing that the Bureau continues to examine similar issues in the marketplace and will take action as necessary.”
This a huge win for Canadian consumers, and to some degree, consumers all over the world. This substantial fine sets a new precedent for online ticket sales companies, and shows that governments can actively work to protect their citizens from this behavior rather than just letting Ticketmaster and similar websites continue to force the average concertgoer and live event consumer into overspending.