Ticketmaster fights anti-scalping law in Manitoba

Ticketmaster wants the Manitoba government to abolish its ticket-scalping law, saying it’s unenforceable.

WINNIPEG — Ticketmaster wants the Manitoba government to abolish its ticket-scalping law, saying it’s unenforceable.

Joe Freeman, the company’s senior vice-president for legal affairs, said making it illegal to resell a ticket to a concert or sporting event defies logic in the age of the Internet.

Freeman said if tickets to an event are sold out and individuals are determined to buy a ticket, they will find a seller.

There are hundreds of resellers selling tickets on the Internet, Freeman said, and they are beyond the reach of the laws of Manitoba.

Freeman said that despite allegations to the contrary, his company does not hold back tickets from events only to sell them at inflated prices on its controversial online reseller TicketsNow.

“That’s an urban myth,” Freeman said. “It’s false, it’s not true.

“Every single, solitary ticket that (a venue) gives us to sell is sold according to their instructions.”

Freeman said Ticketmaster has met with the Manitoba government to discuss the issue and, in the past, has urged the province to abandon its anti-scalping law, adding that Alberta appears ready to do just that.

The government of Premier Gary Doer said recently that it’s observing the controversy surrounding Ticketmaster and the issue of online ticket sales but will wait for the outcome of court decisions before taking any action on its own.

The decision by Ticketmaster, which has a virtual monopoly on ticket sales at most venues in almost every major city in North America, to buy TicketsNow last year was controversial and has brought the California-based firm nothing but grief.

The public backlash has been flamed by Ticketmaster’s past practice of redirecting online customers to TicketsNow when tickets to an event were sold out.

That drew complaints — never proven — that Ticketmaster was deliberately holding back tickets and selling them at inflated prices on TicketsNow.

Consumers also complained about the fees and charges imposed by Ticketmaster, driving up the price of a ticket.

Ticketmaster’s practices have generated two class-action lawsuits in Canada and investigations by the state of New Jersey, the Consumers Bureau in Ottawa and the Ontario government.

Freeman said that last October, Ticketmaster blocked ticket sales from its TicketsNow site to residents of Manitoba and Alberta, provinces that prohibit tickets from being sold at a price higher that the advertised price.

Freeman said TicketsNow doesn’t buy tickets but acts as a clearing board where others post tickets for sale.

Some performers have taken steps to prevent tickets being sold to or bought by resellers.

Just Posted

Number of seniors who play bridge in Red Deer growing

Red Deer Bridge Club has been around for close to 60 years

PHOTOS: Buccaneers battle Wolfpack in AFL semifinal

The Central Alberta Buccaneers battled the Calgary Wolfpack in the Alberta Football… Continue reading

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

City Hall Park construction begins next week

Construction to update Red Deer’s City Hall Park is set to begin… Continue reading

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Indonesia’s Lombok island jolted by multiple quakes

SEMBALUN, Indonesia — Strong earthquakes jolted the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok… Continue reading

Afghan president calls for Eid cease-fire, Taliban to reply

KABUL — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has called for a conditional cease-fire… Continue reading

Montreal may have less influence after October provincial election

MONTREAL — When Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader Francois Legault recently dismissed the… Continue reading

Privacy issue with online pot sales after legalization needs watching: experts

TORONTO — Buyers who have to provide personal information to purchase recreational… Continue reading

Range of reactions to possible holiday to mark legacy of residential schools

The federal government’s intention to enact a statutory holiday aimed at remembering… Continue reading

Wildfire smoke from B.C. gets in the way of mountain scenery for tourists

JASPER, Alta. — Smoke from wildfires that’s blanketing parts of Alberta does… Continue reading

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

The once meat-dominated world of fast-food and casual restaurants is starting to… Continue reading

Thousands to attend funeral service for officers killed in Fredericton shooting

FREDERICTON — Hundreds of people have lined the route of a funeral… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month