GATINEAU, QC, Nov. 21, 2023 /CNW/ – TicketNetwork reached an agreement with the Competition Bureau to address concerns over drip pricing and other misleading claims in the online resale of tickets to concerts, sports, theater and entertainment events.
A Bureau investigation concluded that TicketNetwork advertised tickets at unattainable prices, a practice known as drip pricing. They also promoted tickets at unobtainable discounts. The Bureau determined that consumers could not buy tickets at advertised prices and discounts because the company charged consumers mandatory fees in addition to the prices and discounts advertised. The Bureau found that the mandatory fees added more than 38% on average and, in some cases, over 53% to the advertised prices.
The Bureau further found that TicketNetwork promoted tickets to Canadian events in American dollars, but failed to clearly identify the currency in advertised prices.
The investigation also concluded that TicketNetwork used misleading digital content, including search engine ads and website URLs, that gave the impression to consumers that they were buying directly from the venue, artist or sports team when in fact they were purchasing resale tickets.
The company made these claims on its websites and in promotional emails sent to Canadians.
As part of an agreement registered with the Competition Tribunal, TicketNetwork agreed to:
- pay a $825,000 penalty
- not engage in drip pricing, not promote unobtainable discounts, clearly identify the currency in advertised prices, and not misrepresent resale websites as venue, artist or sports team websites
- establish a compliance program and implement new procedures to comply with the law and prevent advertising issues in the future
“For years, the Competition Bureau has urged businesses to display the full price of their products upfront and to be accurate and clear in their advertising. Ticket vendors must make true pricing claims, and resellers must stop misrepresenting that they’re primary vendors when they’re not. We remind all businesses to review their marketing claims to make sure they don’t mislead consumers.”
Commissioner of Competition
- TicketNetwork provides technology that facilitates the resale of tickets online by vendors. This agreement will help promote compliance with the law by ticket resellers.
- Recent amendments to the Competition Act explicitly recognize drip pricing of mandatory charges or fees as a harmful business practice.
- Since 2019, the Bureau’s successful actions to resolve concerns about misleading advertising in the ticketing industry, including drip pricing, have led to a total of over $6 million in penalties for Ticketmaster, StubHub and TicketNetwork.
- The Bureau’s actions against drip pricing in the car rental industry have led to close to $6 million in total penalties paid by four major companies: Avis/Budget, Hertz, Enterprise and Discount.
- The Bureau strongly encourages anyone who suspects that a company or individual is making deceptive marketing claims to report it by using our online form.
- Drip pricing and the Competition Act
- The Deceptive Marketing Practices Digest with update on drip pricing
- Recent changes to the Competition Act about drip pricing
- Misleading representations and deceptive marketing practices
- Mind the “$”: Is that price in Canadian or American dollars?
- Competition Bureau sues Cineplex for allegedly advertising misleading ticket prices
The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that protects and promotes competition for the benefit of Canadian consumers and businesses. Competition drives lower prices and innovation while fueling economic growth.
SOURCE Competition Bureau