BC Business Magazine - - Contents - By Melissa Ed­wards

Couldn't score tick­ets to that U2 show? Blame the scalper bots

470% That's the premium ticket-seek­ers were fac­ing on re­sale sites in Jan­uary, only min­utes af­ter U2 seats went on sale for the May 12 con­cert at Van­cou­ver's BC Place. The rise of ticket-buy­ing soft­ware—known as scalper bots— has been in­creas­ingly frus­trat­ing for out-of-luck fans, spark­ing de­mand for gov­ern­ment ac­tion across North Amer­ica. (Early last year, B.C. MLA Spencer Chan­dra Her­bert re­peated his 2009 call for anti-scalp­ing leg­is­la­tion, and last fall On­tario and the U.S. an­nounced plans to out­law au­to­mated ticket buy­ing.) Tim Silk, a se­nior in­struc­tor of mar­ket­ing and be­havioural science at UBC'S Sauder School of Busi­ness, says the prac­tice is tough to po­lice. But he thinks laws may be the only so­lu­tion, given that con­cert­go­ers seem to pre­fer fork­ing over cash to boy­cotting the show. “Fair­ness is al­ways based on the norm, and over time, this is be­com­ing nor­ma­tive,” Silk says. “If we don't push back on it soon, it will even­tu­ally be ac­cepted.”

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