Several weeks ago,
Paul Campos of the University of Colorado Law School subjects the agreement to close textual analysis to determine how all the parties make out from a deal being billed as a $400-million settlement. His findings:
Concertgoers get bupkis -- a $2.25 discount per future ticket, up to a maximum of 17 tickets per person, or a maximum of $38.25 per person.
The plaintiffs' attorneys do great, receiving about $15 million in fees, plus costs up to another $1.5 million or so.
Ticketmaster does just fine; as Campos observes, it's required to pay the discounts only to class members who buy more tickets from them in the future, thus turning the settlement agreement into a business opportunity.
According to the deal terms, Ticketmaster will be required to issue $386 million in "discount codes," but it's really on the hook for much less. If there are fewer claimants, the firm only has to make up the difference to a maximum of $42 million by issuing free tickets (to events of its own choosing). The class members are all those who purchased tickets from the firm between Oct. 21, 1999, and Feb. 27, 2013. Campos posits that a huge percentage of the class won't claim their discounts, either because they won't know about them or will consider them too trivial to care about.
It's not as though Ticketmaster will be giving up real value. Whatever is claimed will come out of pure profit, because Ticketmaster's fees are, to a great extent, profit; the firm, a unit of
Plainly this is a company that needs to be watched like a hawk. In 2010 it was accused of pulling a fast one on