As of today, Ticketmaster can’t resell its own tickets under a different name (and with a higher price tag)
Coming into effect today is a new Ontario law that is designed to prevent ticket sellers like Ticketmaster from reselling on affiliated Web sites at jacked-up prices. (Yes, this was legal before.) Legislators recognized a need for more regulation when customers began complaining that tickets for marquee events sold by Ticketmaster were unavailable the moment they went on sale, only to appear on the site of affiliated ticket seller TicketsNow for greatly increased prices.
The Ticket Speculation Act makes this sort of resale to an affiliated company, broker or agent illegal, but that’s pretty much all it does. Critics of the law, like Progressive Conservative Ted Chudleigh and NDP critic Peter Kormos, complain that it does nothing to prevent private resellers from using sophisticated technology to instantly purchase huge blocks of tickets the moment they go on sale. These resellers are free to resell the tickets to unaffiliated Web sites without fear of legal recourse.
Attorney General Chris Bentley maintains that the law does exactly what it set out to do, and essentially both sides are right. No one ever promised that the law would end the widespread practice known as scalping; all it does is discourage the largest ticketing companies from doing the scalping themselves. So, sure, it’s a victory for consumers—it’s just a very, very modest one.
• Ontario ticket scalping law in effect [CBC]
• New Ontario law takes aim at Ticketmaster reselling [Toronto Star]
• Bill aims to short-circuit electronic scalpers [Toronto Star]