In response to an expose into scalper bots, the Competition Bureau investigated whether scalper bots contravened the deceptive marketing practices, restrictive trade practices, and conspiracy provisions of the Competition Act.
Scalper bots are software programs designed to purchase a large amount of tickets for sporting or entertainment events when they first become available for sale. When the tickets are gone, a perceived scarcity ensues, which may lead consumers to pay increased prices to ticket resellers.
The Competition Bureau concluded that scalper bots did not contravene the Competition Act and closed its investigation. It indicated that consumer protection and unfair business practices are usually addressed at the provincial level.
What will proceed is the Competition Bureau’s case against Ticketmaster and LiveNation for allegedly making deceptive claims to consumers in their advertised prices that had the effect of increasing the advertised price by between 20% and 65%, also known as drip pricing.