Ticketmaster fines $ 10 million for avoiding prosecution for hacking rival

Songkick allows artists to sell pre-sale tickets before general ticket sales, and the unnamed employee was also accused of sharing URLs that led to concepts of the ticket pages. A manager of Ticketmaster wanted the company to aim to “suffocate” its competitor and steal one of them back [its] signature clients, ”the prosecutor wrote.


In January 2014, Coconspirator-1 sent an email to Zaidi and a second Ticketmaster driver with several sets of Toolboxes usernames and passwords. Coconspirator-1 urged drivers to ‘grab the screen from the system’, but also warned: ‘I must emphasize that this is access to a live [victim company] tool I will be careful what you click as it is best not to click [to] give away what we sneak around.(Emphasis in the original.) The information from the Toolboxes was then used to prepare a submission for other senior executives intended to “benchmark” Ticketmaster’s offerings to the victim company.

The DoJ said the information is also shared within Ticketmaster. “Ticketmaster employees held a ‘summit’ for an entire section in which the stolen passwords were used to gain access to the victim’s computers, as if it were an appropriate business tactic,” DuCharme wrote. use stolen information to gain an advantage over the competition, and then promote the employees who have violated the law. “

In 2018, Ticketmaster paid Songkick $ 110 million in a settlement due to a lawsuit that Ticketmaster accused of abusing its market power to control ticket sales. Ticketmaster also paid an undisclosed amount to acquire Songkick technology and patents. During the lawsuit, Songkick also accused Ticketmaster of corporate espionage, which allegedly attracted the attention of the DoJ, according to the New York Times.

The $ 10 million fine looks like a light penalty in light of the charges and the fact that Live Nation had $ 11.5 billion in revenue for 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic hit the company’s business drastically, with revenue in the third quarter of 2020 at $ 184 million compared to up to $ 3.8 billion in Q3 2019 – a drop of more than 95 percent. In a statement, a Ticketmaster spokesperson said: “Ticketmaster terminated Zaidi and Mead in 2017 after their behavior came to light. Their actions are contrary to our corporate policies and do not conflict with our values. We are glad that this matter has now been resolved. “