21 Nov TicketNetwork to Pay $825,000 for its Misleading Price Advertising
Kelly Harris and Jane Huang
TicketNetwork has reached an agreement with the Competition Bureau (Bureau) to pay $825,000 in penalties and take corrective measures to address concerns regarding misleading price advertising practices in the online ticket resale market. At issue was TicketNetwork’s use of drip pricing, as well as its failure to disclose it was a reseller with prices listed in USD.
The Bureau concluded that TicketNetwork had engaged in drip pricing by advertising tickets at unattainable prices and promoting unobtainable discounts by charging consumers additional undisclosed mandatory fees that added 38% on average to the advertised prices. The Bureau also found that TicketNetwork promoted tickets to Canadian events in US dollars without clearly disclosing the (non-Canadian) currency. Lastly, the Bureau’s investigation found that TicketNetwork used misleading digital content that gave the false or misleading impression that consumers were buying directly from the venue, artist, or sports team when they were in fact purchasing resale tickets.
As part of the consent agreement, TicketNetwork has agreed to pay a $825,000 CAD administrative monetary penalty. The ticket resale company will also take corrective measures, which include not engaging in drip pricing, not promoting unobtainable discounts, clearly identifying the currency in advertised prices, and not misrepresenting resale websites as venue, artist, or sports team websites. TicketNetwork will also establish a compliance program and implement new procedures to ensure its compliance with the law.
Canadian pricing and price advertising laws are among some of the strictest in the world. This investigation emphasizes the Bureau’s ongoing efforts to address misleading advertising practices in the ticketing industry, including drip pricing, which have led to a total of over $6 million in penalties for Ticketmaster, StubHub and TicketNetwork.