Ticketmaster will be forced to pay $4.5 million CAD ($3.4 million USD) for misleading consumers over the price of their tickets. The Canadian Competition Bureau took issue with Ticketmaster's practice of tacking on fees late in the purchasing process, effectively advertising and charging two different costs to consumers.
The Bureau said that the mandatory fees added anywhere from 20% to 65% to the advertised price.
"The Bureau’s investigation concluded that Ticketmaster’s advertised prices were not attainable because they added mandatory fees during the later stages of the purchasing process. In the Bureau’s view, the price representations were misleading even though the amount of the fees was disclosed before consumers completed their transaction, the Bureau wrote in a press release. "The Bureau concluded that the additional fees often added more than 20% and, in some cases, over 65% to the advertised prices."
The Bureau also announced that Ticketmaster's Canadian companies will enter into a compliance program for the next 10 years to ensure that the prices they advertise are the actual prices paid for tickets at checkout.
"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," said Matthew Boswell, the Bureau's Commissioner of Competition, in a press release. "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.”