The Competition Bureau, an independent Canadian law enforcement agency that makes sure businesses operate in a fair and competitive manner, is suing Ticketmaster over the company’s deceptive ticket prices.
CBC News reports that an investigation by the agency found the ticketing powerhouse’s advertised prices to be misleading, since consumers usually ended up paying more in additional fees. The Competition Bureau called the practice “drip pricing” and noted that fees often pushed the cost of tickets to 20% more than the advertised price. The agency even reported cases in which additional fees increased the price of tickets by as much as 65%.
As a result of its investigation, the Competition Bureau decided to file an application for Canada’s Competition Tribunal to force Ticketmaster to end the deceptive practice and pay a fine. The move comes six months after the agency called on ticket vendors to advertise the actual price of tickets upfront.
“In July, we called on ticket vendors to review their marketing practices. Today, we are filing an application with the [Competition] Tribunal to stop Ticketmaster from making deceptive claims to consumers.” Commissioner of Competition John Pecman said 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.”
According to CBC News, Ticketmaster told the publication it “remains committed to getting tickets into the hands of fans and has long practiced transparency to enable informed purchasing decisions.”
This is far from the first time the concert and sports ticketing giant has been targeted with legal suits regarding its exorbitant fees. As part of the settlement of a Spring of 2016 class action lawsuit in the U.S., the company was forced to issue vouchers for free tickets to anyone who ordered tickets between October 21, 1999 and February 27, 2013. However, the settlement was met with predominantly negative response, as the available shows were highly limited and spots quickly sold out with many left holding vouchers they could no longer use.
[via CBC News]