It has long been speculated that the class action suit against Ticketmaster alleging wallet-gouging service fees would cost that company millions of dollars.

That day came last month as Ticketmaster announced it is offering discounts, vouchers and even free tickets as part of a $400 million lawsuit settlement.

Many local theaters, arenas and concert venues in and around Cedar Rapids use Ticketmaster to provide a secure and simple ticket selling service. These include the U.S. Cellular Center, The Paramount Theatre, the McGrath Amphitheater, and the iWireless Center in Moline.

Many of  these venues regularly offer customers a better deal at their own box offices, because they are able to sidestep some of the additional fees that Ticketmaster charges to those who use their online service at The prevailing wisdom is that it's all about convenience.

I've spoken to several industry friends about the settlement deal. They all spoke candidly on the condition of anonymity, as the issue is highly charged. One area promoter told me Ticketmaster vigorously fought the charges, but eventually settled in 2013. My friend told me the cost of rebating millions in fees was still less money than what Ticketmaster lawyers would have racked up in legal costs over what would have likely been a long, long battle.

According to the Huffington Post, there are some basic specifics to follow to receive your tickets. Like most things "legal" in life, it sounds over-complicated, but it's relatively simple, and worth looking into.

If you've purchased a concert ticket via Ticketmaster from roughly between October 1999 and February 2013, you might be able to make a claim. That 14-year period is a wide-open window, and I'm betting you've bought more than a few concert tickets during that time frame.

The concert promoter's site LIVE NATION has a long list of detailed information on how to proceed. You can also find more details on how to proceed from the Huffington Post article.

Thank you, legal system. You're welcome, dear reader.

[sources: Huffington Post, Live Nation]