Consumer Confidential: Ticketmaster refund, Lipitor probe


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Here’s your fool-to-cry Friday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

--If you bought a ticket through Ticketmaster between October 1999 and October of this year, you’re due for some cash -- $1.50, to be precise. Because of a proposed class action settlement, Ticketmaster is being forced to credit that much per ticket order (up to 17 orders) to customers because the company profited from ‘processing fees’ without declaring that it was doing so. According to court documents, the original claim, filed Oct. 21, 2003, also implicates UPS’ delivery price for expedited delivery of tickets as deceptive. This could end up costing Ticketmaster a hefty amount of money. If, in any given year over the four-year redemption period, less than $11.25 million is redeemed by customers, Ticketmaster is going to donate the remainder to charity. (Business Insider)

--For a while, it looked like the wireless market could get more competitive as cable companies tried to launch their own service. But that’s not going to happen. Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks are giving up on their dreams of creating their own wireless network, opting instead to resell Verizon Wireless service. The companies say they have agreed to sell their wireless licenses -- which they haven’t been using -- to Verizon for $3.6 billion. The cable companies paid $2.2 billion for the spectrum in 2006, so they’re getting a 64% gain on a five-year investment. For Verizon, the deal offers millions of potential new customers and maintains the status quo in the wireless space. (Associated Press)


--First drug maker Pfizer had to contend with its blockbuster drug Lipitor going generic this week. Now some lawmakers are asking the company and other health businesses to detail agreements to block prescriptions of generic versions of the cholesterol drug Lipitor and sell only the Pfizer brand-name version. Pfizer is offering discounts to companies that will reject generic prescriptions and favor Lipitor. The senators say they’re concerned about longer term impacts on employers, Medicare and healthcare costs. They include Sen. Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat; Charles E. Grassley, an Iowa Republican; and Herb Kohl, the Wisconsin Democrat who is chairman of the Special Committee on Aging. (New York Times)

-- David Lazarus