The U.K. government's Department of Trade and Industry has declared online ticket-sales operation Get Me Tickets Limited as illegitimate and called for it to be shut down. The DTI is also pressing for

The U.K. government's Department of Trade and Industry has declared online ticket-sales operation Get Me Tickets Limited as illegitimate and called for it to be shut down. The DTI is also pressing for the ticket reseller's Web sites getmetickets.com and getmetickets.net to be shut down.

The Feb. 2 move follows U.K. secretary of state for trade and industry Alan Johnson's submission of a petition to London's High Court. The petition is scheduled to be heard March 22 at the High Court.

The DTI has been investigating the impact of unauthorized ticket sellers following a campaign of complaints logged by the Concert Promoters Assn., SJM Promotions and the National Arenas Assn., among others.

SJM complained to the DCMS that Getmetickets.net was offering tickets for Robbie Williams's 2006 concerts for £125 ($220). Tickets for those dates have a face value of just £42.50 ($75).

The government's Insolvency Service unit has appointed Paul Titherington to protect Get Me Tickets' assets and records until the Court's ruling. Titherington has also been made provisional liquidator of the two Web sites.

Following a probe on the firm, Titherington said, "It appears that the company does not have sufficient tickets to supply all its customers who have ordered and paid for tickets."

He added that the recovered tickets will be sent to those who have paid for them "within the next few days," but said he was not in a position to make exchanges or refunds.

The court petition also comes at a time when the U.K. government's Department of Culture, Media and Sport has pledged to hold workshops with the live-entertainment industry to tackle the problems of ticket fraud.