Ticketmaster fined £7.3 million over "intrusion" into UK competitor's computer system

Ticketmaster fined £7.3 million over

Ticketmaster has agreed to a $10 million (£7.3m) criminal fine for “intrusions into a competitor’s computer system”.

The fine was imposed by the US Department Of Justice (DOJ), which said Ticketmaster had used passwords unlawfully retained by an ex-employee of a competitor to access computer systems.

The rival ticketing firm has only been identified as a UK company with an office in Brooklyn, though details in court indicated it was Songkick, according to Bloomberg. Warner Music acquired assets from Songkick in 2017.

According to evidence submitted to the court, employees "repeatedly – and illegally – accessed a competitor's computers without authorisation using stolen passwords to unlawfully collect business intelligence". 

The actions were designed to “choke off” the rival’s business, according to the DOJ.

Ticketmaster said the misconduct had taken place in 2017 and that both employees involved had been sacked.

"Their actions violated our corporate policies and were inconsistent with our values," the company said in a statement. 

“We are pleased that this matter is now resolved.”

The US justice department said the fine was part of a deferred prosecution agreement to resolve a case with five counts of "computer intrusion and fraud offences". 

Ticketmaster's former head of artist services has also pleaded guilty in a "related case to conspiring to commit computer intrusions and wire fraud, based on his participation in the same scheme".

The deferred prosecution agreement means Ticketmaster has to maintain a compliance and ethics programme. It has to report annually to the US Attorney's Office during the three-year term of the agreement.


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