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Internal Ticketmaster emails show the company hacked into one of its rivals, lawsuit claims

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Ticketing company Ticketmaster is being accused in a lawsuit of using information provided by a former employee of a rival company to hack into that rival's databases




In documents from a California federal court published on Wednesday, Ticketmaster is accused of hiring away an executive from CrowdSurge (a company which merged with Songkick). That executive allegedly kept tens of thousands of internal company documents from his former employer, and gained unauthorised access to CrowdSurge's internal systems, the suit claims.


We first heard about the case via Variety, and you can read the new court filing in full below. Ticketmaster did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment on the allegations.

The executive, Stephen Mead, was allegedly asked "to use his knowledge of CrowdSurge’s internal systems to improperly access those systems for purposes of monitoring CrowdSurge’s potential and actual artist- clients, staying abreast of what CrowdSurge was doing and, ultimately, to 'cut [CrowdSurge] off at the knees.'"


The documents continue to allege that Mead was "willing and eager to share the requested confidential CrowdSurge information with Zaidi and others at Ticketmaster because Mead’s goal, like those of Defendants generally, was to 'bring down the hammer on CrowdSurge.'"


Mead allegedly had kept 85,000 documents after leaving CrowdSurge, including "confidential weekly head of department reports containing valuable, non-public strategic and financial information; dozens of usernames and passwords to confidential CrowdSurge tools; client lists; presentations to CrowdSurge’s Board of Directors; contracts; and internal corporate business plans and strategies."


In one alleged email quoted by the court filing, Mead apparently tells other executives: "So ahead of our call later today I’ve pulled together some info from CS that might be useful as  insight into their operations."

He also allegedly provided login details that allowed Ticketmaster executives to improperly access CrowdSurge's systems. An alleged email quotes him as warning about not drawing attention to their activities: "I must stress that as this is access to a live CS tool I would be careful in what you click on as it would be best not the [sic] giveaway that we are snooping around," it said.


In a statement, Ticketmaster told Variety: "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."


Here's the full court filing:



By Rob Price



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