Ticketmaster faces antitrust scrutiny in Mexico following Bad Bunny ticket sales fiasco

The head of Profeco, Mexico’s consumer protection watchdog, has promised to sue Ticketmaster following a ticketing snafu in the country’s capital, reports . On the weekend of December 9th, Puerto Rican reggaeton star Bad Bunny was scheduled to play two soldout shows in Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca, the largest stadium in Latin America. The Friday night date saw thousands of fans denied entry to the venue after they were told by Estadio Azteca staff the tickets they bought directly from Ticketmaster were fake.

Flying drone with camera

Profeco accused the company of overselling tickets. According to the agency, more than 1,600 ticket holders were denied entry on the first night, and another 110 on the following evening. “Ticketmaster claimed they were counterfeit, but they were all issued by them,” Profeco head Ricardo Sheffield told local news outlets. Ticketmaster has agreed to refund all affected fans the full price of their ticket, plus a 20 percent compensation fee. Profeco is preparing to file a class-action lawsuit against the company. Ticketmaster Mexico could also be fined up to 10 percent of its total sales in 2021. “As we are a fiscal authority, if they don’t want to pay of their own will, we will seize their accounts then, and they will pay because they have to,” Sheffield said.

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In a Ticketmaster posted to Twitter this week, the company denied the claim it oversold tickets. It blamed the event on demand for Bad Bunny tickets – saying more than 4.5 million people tried to purchase just 120,000 stubs – and scalpers who sold fake tickets. “On Friday, an unprecedented number of false tickets, not bought through our official channels, were presented at the gates,” the company said, according to an . “The situation, in addition to confusion among access control personnel, caused temporary interruptions in the ticket reading system, which unfortunately momentarily impeded recognition of legitimate tickets.”

In November, Democratic lawmakers, including House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, began calling for the break up of Ticketmaster after the company botched sales of Taylor Swift Eras Tour tickets. “Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, its merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in,” last month. The US Department of Justice an antitrust investigation into Ticketmaster parent company LiveNation before the Swift fiasco. The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumers it would hold a hearing on the company’s recent failures. 

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