The battle between Songkick and Ticketmaster continues as Songkick claim Live Nation’s ticketing company used an old password to steal information.
Ticketmaster have been facing legal challenges from smaller ticketing companies for years now, and the battle just got turned to 11. An amended complaint in Songkick’s ongoing anti-trust lawsuit accuses Ticketmaster of using an ex-employee to “hack” into Crowdsurge’s (now combined with Songkick) database and steal information.
According to the complaint, Ticketmaster hired a top executive at CrowdSurge, Stephen Mead, and then used his old password to take real-time information about the company’s plans. The suit explains that Ticketmaster were able to gain access to the artists that CrowdSurge hoped to work with allowing Ticketmaster to steal business from these artists.
Songkick found during their investigation that Mead had retained 85,000 company documents on his laptop after leaving his job at Crowdsurge. The documents Mead kept on his computer included confidential business plans, strategic and financial information, contracts, client lists, and dozens of user names and passwords to confidential CrowdSurge tools, according to the suit.
According to emails used in the litigation Mead was providing reports to Ticketmaster about CrowdSurge to compare the two platforms. The reports also shockingly included the username and passwords to three artists “toolboxes” on crowdsurge which included personal data for the customers.
In emails from 2014, Mead wrote: “I must stress that this is access to a live CS tool I would be careful in what you click on as it would be best not the giveaway that we are snooping around. Mead also told his team at Ticketmaster: “Feel free to screen-grab the hell out of [CrowdSurge’s] system.”
Live Nation and Ticketmaster responded to the new allegations saying that a “significant portion” of Songkick’s original anti-trust action had been dismissed by the court. They wrote: “In the face of those adverse rulings, Songkick has been forced to conjure up a new set of dubious arguments and theories, resulting in the amended complaint they recently filed. Songkick’s amended complaint is based on the alleged misappropriation of information that Songkick did not even try to keep secret, in some cases could not have kept secret, and in some cases shared with artist managers that work for Live Nation. The claims have no legal merit and Live Nation and Ticketmaster will continue to vigorously defend this case.”
Ticketmaster have come into fire over their business practices in the past with many criticising it’s monopoly over the ticketing industry and it’s excessive surcharges. Whilst the industry is rallying against them the Live Nation subsidiary seems to show no signs of disappearing or changing it’s practices.