The US concert ticket online shop Ticketmaster agreed to pay a fine of $ 10 million after the company admitted to spying on smaller rivals CrowdSurge. This is what the online magazine reports The Verge.
The According to court documents the firm hired Stephen Mead, a former employee of the competitor, in 2013. Soon afterwards, a senior executive named Zeeshan Zaidi and other members of the management team urged him to use Mead’s known usernames and passwords to break into the CrowdSurge system and obtain information about customers and internal processes and analyzes. The insights also included which artists CrowdSurge used for ticket sales, so that Ticketmaster could target and poach them.
Requirements for Ticketmaster
Ticketmaster only lost its unauthorized access in 2015 when CrowdSurge merged with competitor Songkick. Songkick then sued Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation for antitrust violations, but not long afterwards ceased its services. In 2018, an out-of-court settlement was approved in the form of a payment of $ 110 million by Live Nation. In addition, Mead and Zaidi were released in 2017, according to a Ticketmaster spokesman for The Verge.
With the penalty that has now been imposed, the proceedings have not ended entirely but have been suspended for the time being. In the meantime, Ticketmaster is subject to some conditions. Among other things, the company must not only submit an annual report to the public prosecutor for the next three years, but also demonstrate that it has drawn up and is implementing internal guidelines against other similar violations.
In 2018, Ticketmaster was also the target of a malware attack, in which unauthorized persons had access to payment data and other personal information from customers of the online shop. This also included addresses, e-mail addresses, log-in data, names, and telephone numbers. However, only customers from Great Britain are said to have been affected.