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Ticketmaster boss responds to senators’ concerns

Jared Smith, president of Ticketmaster, has responded to a letter that was sent by two US senators concerning the recent scandal over the ticketing giant’s TradeDesk platform.

US senators Jerry Moran and Richard Blumenthal (pictured), in a letter addressed to Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino, urged the company to dedicate “immediate attention” to the escalating scandal surrounding Ticketmaster’s alleged connection to ticket scalping activities.

In response, Smith began by explaining that he is best positioned to answer the senators’ original questions addressed to Rapino regarding purchasing limits, TradeDesk and the company’s relationship with resellers.

“Let me start by assuring you that Ticketmaster does not have, and has never had, any product or program that allows ticket scalpers, or anyone else, to buy tickets ahead of fans and circumvent the policies we have on our site regarding on-line ticket purchasing limits,” Smith wrote.

Smith then details the company’s policies on purchase limits, TradeDesk user agreements and whether Ticketmaster’s Professional Reseller Handbook actually deters resellers from illegal activities.

“Through a combination of data science, enterprise grade software and new technologies, we are now blocking an average of 5 billion bot attempts per month, and over 60 billion per year,” Smith wrote, adding that Ticketmaster uses “username, e-mail address, physical address, payment method, computer and/or device used and IP address” to detect users attempting to go OTL — over the ticket limit.

“Over the past 12 months, this process has blocked millions of OTL requests,” Smith wrote. “We continue to invest substantially to improve our technology, and in the coming months expect to add new tools and data points to further improve our OTL detection abilities.”

The senators were prompted to get involved after Ticketmaster employees were filmed by CBC News and the Toronto Star claiming that the company “turns a blind eye” to those who have multiple accounts on the company’s inventory management platform and were securing dozens and even hundreds of tickets at a time.

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