Call to all ticket vendors: unveil the real cost of tickets at the outset

Appel à tous les vendeurs de billets : dévoilez dès le départ le coût véritable des billets (Groupe CNW/Bureau de la concurrence)

OTTAWA , July 4, 2017 / CNW / – The Competition Bureau is calling on companies specialized in the sale of sports and cultural tickets to review their business practices and to disclose the actual price of the tickets from the outset.

To attract consumers, some ticketing companies are displaying low prices online or on mobile apps. Inevitable additional fees and taxes are added later in the purchase process, which inflates the price of tickets.

This practice of displaying partial prices can be misleading to the consumer, who will never be able to pay the low price advertised initially. The Bureau strongly advises sellers and ticket resellers to avoid partial prices and to disclose the actual price of the tickets from the outset when consumers are required to pay additional fees.

Ensuring the truthfulness of advertising in the Canadian digital economy is a priority of the Bureau, and hidden fees are one of its main targets. Whenever possible, the Office prefers to resolve cases without resorting to lengthy and costly legal proceedings. For example, the Bureau can communicate directly with businesses to encourage voluntary compliance. However, if an amicable settlement proves impossible, the Bureau will not hesitate to take the necessary measures to ensure compliance with the law.

In addition, the Bureau encourages consumers who believe they have been misled to file a complaint .

Quick Facts

  • In previous records relating to the posting of partial prices, the Bureau has discovered that mandatory additional costs can inflate the final price from 10% to 57%.
  • Unexpected costs are often added to the final stages of the transaction when the buyer has already chosen his or her seats and is willing to pay. Sometimes the charges are buried in the fine print. Companies qualify them as a service, processing, administration or ticketing fee, and can significantly inflate the cost of tickets.
  • The Bureau has recently taken action against partial pricing practices in the car rental industry by signing two consents with car hire companies to put an end to the display of unreachable prices.


“Every year, Canadians spend billions of dollars to attend their favorite sporting and cultural events. For the digital economy to continue to innovate and grow, it is essential that consumers can rely on online prices. ”

John Pecman ,
Commissioner of Competition

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The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.

SOURCE Competition Bureau

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