Windsor

NDP MP Brian Masse asking for federal investigation into Ticketmaster

Windsor West NDP MP Brian Masse is looking for answers stemming from a recent CBC/Toronto Star investigation into Ticketmaster.

The Windsor West MP says Canada is treated as 'a colony for consumer rights'

Ticketmaster takes a cut on both the sale and resale of sports and concert tickets. (Paul Sakuma/Associated Press)

The NDP MP for Windsor West is looking for answers stemming from a recent CBC News/Toronto Star investigation into the business practices of Ticketmaster.

In September, it was uncovered that the company is recruiting professional scalpers who cheat its own system to expand its resale business and squeeze more money out of fans.

Since then, the box-office giant has been under fire from the music industry and even two U.S. senators. The Competition Bureau, which was already investigating the company, expanded its investigation to include the scalping concerns, after being encouraged to by Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains.

However, Masse, the NDP's innovation, science and economic development critic, doesn't think it's enough.

"The Competition Bureau itself is uncertain if it will fall under the [Competition] Act," he said in an interview with Afternoon Drive host Chris dela Torre. "This is giving Ticketmaster ... a free skate and a pass in the meantime."

Masse would like to see the government investigate the company directly, rather than through the independent Competition Bureau, which he doesn't think has enough resources.

Windsor West NDP MP Brian Masse thinks the federal Liberals need to do more to investigate the business practices of Ticketmaster. (Kaitie Fraser/CBC)

"[Bains] needs to direct his department and also talk with other caucus colleagues, including the Minister of Justice and others, to look at this situation," he said, explaining that Ticketmaster isn't the only foreign company that he believes is taking advantage of Canadians. 

"We've seen ... Canada treated as a colony for consumer rights, by many different corporations."

Masse is also asking for Ticketmaster Canada to speak at an upcoming committee meeting on the Copyright Act, because he believes the company is taking advantage of artists.

"When you have Ticketmaster as an oligopoly in this ... [artists] are dependent on it," he said. "They have very much a need for the government to ... provide that shield."

About the Author

Jonathan Pinto is a reporter/editor at CBC Windsor, primarily assigned to Afternoon Drive, CBC Radio's regional afternoon show for southwestern Ontario. Email jonathan.pinto@cbc.ca.