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Service Charges Go To Court

02:01 PM Wednesday 7/6/11 |   |

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Live Nation Entertainment in Baltimore, alleging the company is violating state law by tacking on unreasonable service charges to its tickets.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Andre Bourgeois, who bought a ticket to see Jackson Browne at Lyric Opera House in 2009 and had a service charge exceeding $12 on top of the $52 face value. Bourgeois bought his ducat through Ticketmaster, but Live Nation is a defendant because of the merger of the two.

The lawsuit claims Baltimore City Code prohibits the sale of tickets, at face value or above, by anyone not licensed as a “ticket agency” by the Baltimore City Director of Finance. Neither Live Nation nor fellow defendant Monumental Ticketing – previously known as Ticketmaster Group Limited Partnership – are allegedly licensed as ticketing agencies in Baltimore. And, if they were, the city code allows them to have a maximum service charge of 50 cents per ticket, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit charges several violations, including violation of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act and negligent misrepresentation and several violations of the RICO act, including mail fraud, wire fraud and interstate transport of money converted or fraudulently obtained.

The lawsuit seeks the return of the service charges, plus treble damages, pre-judgment interest, and reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees, among other demands.

A Live Nation spokeswoman told Pollstar the company does not comment on pending litigation.

Comments

  1. fjac5 wrote:

    06:46 AM, Jul 08, 2011

    G R E E D. And there is plenty of blame to go around. Not just promoters and ticket agencies either...don't excuse the artist.

  2. Thunder Road Warrior wrote:

    07:42 AM, Jul 07, 2011

    Can anybody explain why the service charge isn't a flat fee regardless of the price of a ticket to the same event?  For example - a ticket to Train/Maroon 5 at PNC Arts Center in NJ has a fee of $7 for a $25 lawn seat and a fee of $12.50 for a $45 loge seat.  If I buy them online the process is the same so why the increase in service fee?  This is a standard industry practice and when I call the box office nobody can ever give me an answer.  Thanks in advance for an explanation.

  3. fjac5 wrote:

    06:47 AM, Jul 07, 2011

    If this subject interests you, I suggest you read the book "Ticket Masters".  I'm about 3/4 of the way through it and I'm about to swear off ever again buying a concert ticket to line the pockets of artists and promoters and anyone else responsible for a ticket which was once $50.00 and is now $175.00.

  4. kendsie wrote:

    04:37 AM, Jul 07, 2011

    Finally, somebody stands up against these thieves, I hope TicketDisaster is next.



Artists Mentioned in this article