Ontario introduces secondary ticketing law

Leonard Cohen on-sale drew attention to issue

TORONTO -- The province of Ontario has introduced a law aimed at limiting a company's ability to profit from concert ticket sales in both the primary and secondary markets.

"We've heard in our communities, we've heard in the line for coffees, we have heard wherever you go in the province of Ontario," Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley told reporters in Toronto. "They are concerned about fair access."

The controversy in Ontario followed the sale of tickets for an Ottawa Leonard Cohen show by Ticketmaster, for which tickets sold out in minutes. However, tickets had been listed on TicketsNow, which is owned by Ticketmaster, even before the Cohen show sold out.

Bentley approached Ticketmaster about eliminating sales through TicketsNow in Ontario, as is the case in several other Canadian provinces, but was rebuked. At that point Bentley says he had no choice but to make amendments to the Ticket Speculation Act to make it illegal for companies to sell tickets for a concert and then again in the resale market.

Companies could be fined between $5,000 and $50,000 for breaking the law if the amendment is passed into law.

Ticketmaster told Billboard earlier this month that it would comply with any legislation passed