Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. allegedly used a deceptive practice known as drip pricing that saw customers pay sometimes more than 65 per cent above the advertised price, says the Competition Bureau.
The law enforcement watchdog said in a statement Thursday that it has filed an application with the Competition Tribunal, asking it to end the alleged practice and make the companies pay an administrative monetary penalty.
Findings from its investigation allege that Ticketmaster’s advertised prices deceived consumers by adding more mandatory costs — like service fees, facility charges or order processing fees, depending on the ticket — later on in the purchasing process.
This so-called drip pricing allegedly caused consumers to pay much higher prices than advertised — often more than 20 per cent higher and sometimes more than 65 per cent more, the bureau said.
“Ticketmaster remains committed to getting tickets into the hands of fans and has long practised transparency to enable informed purchasing decisions,” the ticket sales and distribution company said in a statement.
The company added it is working closely with provincial governments to enhance consumer protection.
Live Nation did not immediately responded to a request for comment.
In July, the bureau asked sports and entertainment ticket vendors to review their marketing practices and display the full price up front.
“Together, these actions send a strong signal to online retailers: consumers must have confidence that advertised prices are the ones they will pay,” Commissioner of Competition John Pecman said in a statement.