Ticketmaster has agreed to pay a $10 million fine after being charged with illegally accessing computer systems of a competitor repeatedly between 2013 and 2015 in an attempt to “cut [the company] off at the knees.”
A subsidiary of Live Nation, the California-based ticket sales and distribution company used the stolen information to gain an advantage over CrowdSurge — which merged with Songkick in 2015 and later acquired by Warner Music Group (WMG) in 2017 — by hiring a former employee to break into its tools and gain insight into the firm’s operations.
“Ticketmaster employees repeatedly – and illegally – accessed a competitor’s computers without authorization using stolen passwords to unlawfully collect business intelligence,” said Acting U.S. 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, as if that were an appropriate business tactic.”
The allegations were first reported in 2017 after CrowdSurge sued Live Nation for antitrust violations, accusing Ticketmaster of accessing confidential business plans, contracts, client lists, and…