The Legislative Assembly of Ontario has passed Bill 172, the Ticket Speculation Amendment Act, prohibiting any ticket sales and distribution company from diverting tickets to a related re-seller.
In the Bill's explanatory note, it states that: "It is an offence for related primary and secondary sellers to make available for sale in Ontario tickets for admission to the same event."
The Bill was submitted in 2009 to ensure fair access to entertainment tickets after some Bruce Springsteen fans in New Jersey publicly complained after they were redirected within a minute of the on-sale from Ticketmaster to another site the company owns, TicketsNow, that sold tickets with prices higher than face value. That put attention on the Toronto on-sale. The Toronto Star (Feb. 5, 2009) reported that "164 tickets, ranging in price from $257 to $909" went on sale on TicketsNow two days before the official Ticketmaster sale. "But by the afternoon, those offers on TicketsNow had vanished."
Tickets for a Killers show were reported to be going for close to $2,000, according to a Canadian Press article from 2009. And in 2008 in Vancouver, people complained after higher priced AC/DC tickets appeared on TicketsNow after the concert sold out within minutes on Ticketmaster.
In response to the amended Bill, Ticketmaster said it neither diverts tickets from Ticketmaster Canada to TicketsNow or provides preferential treatment to the re-seller. "Ticketmaster invests heavily in consumer protection through the development of innovative technology and is a leader in purchaser information security, buyer guarantees, fraud protection and crackdowns on brokers purchasing en masse through online software robots," a press statement said.
If convicted of the offence, a corporation can be fined up to $50,000. An individual can also be held liable to a maximum fine of $5,000.
The Attorney General, Christopher Bentley, has the power to exempt any person or class of persons from the Act.
Section 1 of the Bill defines "primary seller" as a person, other than a secondary seller, who is engaged in the business of making tickets available for sale, and includes the owner of the place to which a ticket provides admission, the promoter of the event occurring at that place and any agent or broker of those persons; the "secondary seller" means a person who is engaged in the business of making available for sale tickets that have been acquired in any manner and by any person from or through a primary seller.