Mexican regulators announced that Ticketmaster’s Mexican branch would be fined up to 10% of its sales in 2021 for botching ticket sales to Bad Bunny concerts in Mexico City last Friday and Saturday, which resulted in more than a thousand fans being turned away.
Ticketmaster apologized on Saturday to the fans who were affected and said that the problem occurred because of an “unprecedented number of fake tickets” that overwhelmed its system.
Ricardo Sheffield, head of Mexico’s consumer protection agency, Profeco, revealed that 1,600 people had been affected by Ticketmaster’s error for the show on Friday and 110 for the show on Saturday. Profeco has ordered Ticketmaster to reimburse fans who were turned away the total cost of their ticket plus an additional 20% in compensation for damages. The company will also be fined, Sheffield said, adding that the total fine will be finalized this week.
“It’s a very serious and delicate situation,” the head of Profeco said.
On Sunday, Sheffield disputed the company’s account in statements to local outlets. He maintains that Ticketmaster itself was to blame because it had knowingly oversold tickets to the shows.
“They weren’t fake tickets. Ticketmaster said that they were fake, but the company issued them. They made more tickets,” Sheffield told Radio Fórmula on Sunday. “It’s a real elegant way to oversell. That’s what they did—they oversold.”
The Bad Bunny incident couldn’t come at a worse time for Ticketmaster, which was already under fire for mishandling the sale of tickets to Taylor Swift’s upcoming Eras tour, outraging fans. The Swift debacle caught the attention of the Senate’s antitrust committee, which is set to hold a hearing over Ticketmaster’s dominant market position in the live music and entertainment industry. The Justice Department is also investigating Ticketmaster’s parent company, though it’s unclear if the investigation began after the fiasco.