Ticket Brokers Pay $4.2 Million to Settle Case With New York's Attorney General

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Five companies from New York and two more from nearby states have agreed to pay nearly $4.2 million to New York state to settle allegations that they illegally sold tickets to concerts and other events. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the legal settlements Thursday.

Schneiderman’s office says some of the companies used illegal software known as a ticket bot to snatch up large numbers of tickets that were then resold to the public at significantly higher prices. One company’s ticket bots allegedly bought more than 1,000 tickets to a U2 concert in one minute. Others sold tickets without the proper state licenses.

The companies and their payouts are listed as follows:

  • Prestige Entertainment of Connecticut, $3,350,000
  • Presidential Tickets of New York, $125,000
  • Concert Specials, Inc of New York, $480,000
  • Fanfetch Inc. of New York, $55,000
  • BMC Capital Partners, Inc. of New York, $95,000
  • Top Star Tickets of Massachusetts, $85,000

A seventh company, Componica, which developed the kind of software libraries used by ticket resellers to bypass "Are you a bot?" tests, also settled with Schneiderman. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the Iowa-based firm has agreed to not develop anymore security-bypassing software that could be used by ticketing sites.

"Unscrupulous ticket resellers who break the rules and take advantage of ordinary consumers are one of the major reasons why ticketing remains a rigged system," said Schneiderman in a statement. "We will continue to fight to make ticketing a more fair and transparent marketplace, so fans have the opportunity to enjoy their favorite shows and events. Anybody who breaks the law will pay a steep price."

State law penalizes companies that use ticket bots to circumvent limits on how many tickets one person can buy and prohibits the reselling of tickets acquired through ticket bots. Schneiderman's office spent three years on a report on the issue, titled "Why Can't New Yorkers Get Tickets?", which was released in early 2016. 

The report stated that the practice of large ticket holds and pre-sales had grown as a trend and greatly restricted what average fans could buy. It recommended that concert promoters be more transparent about how tickets are released to the public and encouraged secondary ticket markets to better regular their platforms. "Ticketing is a fixed game," Schneiderman remarked at the time.


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