February 13, 2020
By Jennifer McKenzie and Amanda Branch
The Competition Bureau has made it clear that an enforcement priority is the practice of “drip pricing”; that is the advertisement of a price that is unattainable by the time you complete the purchase as a result of added fees. Last year, we reported on the Bureau’s settlement with Ticketmaster concerning its practice of advertising event ticket prices that could be as much as 60% more with added fees.
Today, the Bureau announced its settlement with Stub Hub, who will pay a $1.3 million penalty as part of an agreement with the Bureau. The Bureau’s investigation found that consumers could not buy tickets at advertised prices because of additional mandatory fees. To determine the actual price for event tickets inclusive of mandatory fees, consumers had to turn on optional filters. If the filters were not turned on, the actual prices were not revealed until much later in the purchasing process. The Bureau concluded that the existence of the optional filters did not remedy the fact that the initial prices were misleading, especially given the fact that in some cases consumers who filtered to see inclusive prices were still asked to pay additional fees at check out. In addition to the $1.3 million penalty, under the agreement, StubHub must ensure that consumers see inclusive pricing throughout the ticket purchasing process.
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