We’ve seen a lot of companies do shady things, but Ticketmaster was just caught red handed using a rival ticketing company’s private user information to “cut [the company] off at the knees.”
The story goes all the way back to 2013 when Ticketmaster hired former CrowdSurge employee Stephen Mead and “encouraged him to turn over his old employer’s secrets,” says The Verge, including analytics on artist management companies. The employee was also able to access “difficult-to-find” preview links for upcoming shows in an effort to dissuade those artists from using a competing service.
All of this first came to light when CrowdSurge sued Live Nation, Ticketmaster’s parent company, in 2017 for antitrust violations. Ticketmaster fired Mead and the executives responsible for encouraging him to participate in illegal activities that year, as well. “Their actions violated our corporate policies and were inconsistent with our values. We are pleased that this matter is now resolved,” a spokesperson told The Verge.
However, CrowdSurge soon shut down operations and accepted a $110 million settlement.
This new judgment, that came at the end of 2020, demands an additional $10 million under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. “Ticketmaster must pay the fine in question, maintain clear policies to detect and prevent unauthorized computer intrusion, and present annual reports on its conduct for the next three years,” explains The Verge.
“Ticketmaster employees repeatedly — and illegally — accessed a competitor’s computers without authorization using stolen passwords to unlawfully collect business intelligence,” said acting US attorney Seth DuCharme. “Further, Ticketmaster’s employees brazenly held a division-wide ‘summit’ at which the stolen passwords were used to access the victim company’s computers.”
via The Verge