01/25/2018 15:37 EST | Updated 01/25/2018 16:55 EST

Ticketmaster's 'Deceptive' Pricing The Target Of Canada Competition Bureau Lawsuit

"Consumers must have confidence that advertised prices are the ones they will pay.”

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Canada's Competition Bureau is launching a lawsuit against Ticketmaster, arguing the monopoly ticket seller has been deceiving customers when advertising prices.

"In July, we called on ticket vendors to review their marketing practices. Today, we are filing an application with the Tribunal to stop Ticketmaster from making deceptive claims to consumers," Commissioner of Competition John Pecman said in a statement.

"Together, these actions send a strong signal to online retailers: consumers must have confidence that advertised prices are the ones they will pay."

In its application to the Competition Tribunal, the Bureau says Ticketmaster's practice of "drip pricing" adding additional fees to the advertised price, later in the purchase process caused consumers to pay much higher prices than advertised.

Earlier on HuffPost Canada:

The Bureau said typically buyers end up paying 20 per cent more, and in some cases up to 65 per cent more, than the advertised price. Ticketmaster's additional fees include "service fees," "facility charges" and "order processing fees."

In a statement emailed to media, Ticketmaster said it "remains committed to getting tickets into the hands of fans and has long practiced transparency to enable informed purchasing decisions."

The company added it continues "to work closely with provincial governments to enhance consumer protection and provide the best ticketing experience for fans."

The Bureau says the lawsuit is meant to end "drip pricing" practices. It's also wants an "administrative monetary penalty" levied against Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation. It did not specify how much of a penalty it's looking for.

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