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Ticketmaster to Pay for Cryptic Fees

Thursday, June 19, 2014   (0 Comments)
Wall Street Journal (06/03/14) Karp, Hannah

Ticketmaster's tentative settlement of a class-action lawsuit that could yield about $400 million to a multitude of ticket buyers emphasizes the issue of ticket fee transparency. The plaintiffs alleged Ticketmaster deceived consumers by charging order-processing fees and UPS delivery fees that were not entirely spent on delivery or order processing. The suit said the fee labels were deceptive because the ticket-buying plaintiffs also were charged separate convenience and facility fees, which they understood to be profit generators for Ticketmaster. As part of the settlement process, the company amended the language on its website to specify order-processing and delivery charges may include a profit for Ticketmaster. Approval of the settlement could entail about 50 million U.S. fans who bought tickets that included an order-processing fee on Ticketmaster's site from Oct. 21, 1999, through Feb. 27, 2013, qualifying to receive $386 million in discounts on future purchases. A court document says Ticketmaster will issue up to 161 million credits for $2.25 each and as many as 4.9 million credits for $5 each, and will make tickets for certain events available at no cost to class members on a first-come, first-served basis at the end of each year for the next four years if members redeem less than $10.5 million of the coupons per year.

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