Ticketmaster is essentially accused of colluding with scalpers - and collecting double fees in the process - in a bruising weeks-long investigation published by CBC and the Toronto Star Tuesday and today.
The software is not mentioned anywhere on the Ticketmaster site, and to access the TradeDesk website requires a registration form.
A pair of reporters posing as scalpers was sent from the outlets to Ticket Summit 2018, a ticketing and live entertainment convention at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. It was there that the two were allegedly approached by Ticketmaster and briefed on the company's seedy reselling scheme. Under this scenario, Ticketmaster successfully inflates ticket prices and successfully profits not once, but twice - first on the fees of the initial ticket sale to scalpers, then on the fees captured during the pricier resale transactions made on TradeDesk.
A report by CBC News has alleged that Ticketmaster is recruiting professional scalpers who cheat its own system to help the company squeeze more money out of fans.
The scam sees scalpers purchasing tickets from Ticketmaster, then reselling them at a higher price on Ticketmaster's own secondary market platform TradeDesk.
"If we identify breaches of these limits ... we reserve the right to cancel any such orders", read Ticketmaster's general terms and conditions. The essence of the report is that Ticket Master ignores looking for possible abuse of its re-sale program, such as the practice of bots scooping up hundreds of tickets and automatically re-listing them at an inflated price.
Still, resellers who break those rules reportedly won't get in trouble. A blind eye will be turned. "There's total separation between Ticketmaster and our division".
This isn't the first time Ticketmaster has come under fire for supposedly being in bed with scalpers. Its main argument was that Ticketmaster was itself guilty of trying to game the ticket buying system.
"If you want to get a good show and the ticket limit is six or eight ... you're not going to make a living on six or eight tickets", said another.
Ticketmaster has yet to issue a public statement, but wrote to CBC, saying "that as the world's leading ticketing platform, representing thousands of teams, artists and venues, we believe it is our job to offer a marketplace that provides a safe and fair place for fans to shop, buy and sell tickets in both the primary and secondary markets".