Ticketmaster has been targeted in proposed legislation by a California government official that would ban TradeDesk from engaging in resale.
Assembly Member Bill Quirk put the bill forward after CBC News and the Toronto Star uncovered a supposed partnership between the ticketing giant’s TradeDesk and touts.
The proposed legislation effectively groups TradeDesk with bots and wants to expand upon anti-bot laws that are already in place.
Nathan Little, Quirk’s senior legislative aide, said that The Star‘s reporting “prompted a look into this.”
“It’s the goal of the state in enacting consumer protections in this area to make sure that average Californians have equitable access to tickets,” Little said.
A committee analysis prepared for the California legislature said: “While it looks and acts like what we would consider a bot, the distinction may be drawn that TradeDesk is actually a service, which allows a ticket scalper to more effectively skirt the law against use of bots.
“According to the Toronto Star, Ticketmaster employees have advertised TradeDesk in a way that is functionally indistinguishable from bots.”
CBC News and the Toronto Star uncovered the touting scheme after they filmed Ticketmaster employees claiming that the company “turns a blind eye” to those who have multiple accounts on the company’s inventory management platform TradeDesk and were securing dozens and even hundreds of tickets at a time.
The company denied the claims the employees were accurate.
Since the reports last year, Ticketmaster has been named in several lawsuits across the US and Canada.
In February, the Canadian government ruled Ticketmaster had not been overcharging for concert tickets by using bots following an investigation. Several formal complaints were filed to Canada’s Competition Bureau accusing Ticketmaster of allowing mass scalping though its TradeDesk software.