Ticketmaster Files $10M Suit Against Scalpers Who Use Bots

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Mon, Oct 2 - 3:01 pm EDT | 12 months ago by
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Ticketmaster has long been locked in a battle with scalpers who use bots to buy high-value tickets in bulk and resell them for a tidy profit, but now the company is taking the fight to the next level with a lawsuit demanding at least $10 million in damages from an alleged big player.

The suit was filed on Monday against Prestige Entertainment in United States District Court in Los Angeles, New York Daily News reported. Ticketmaster claims that it has monitored Prestige Entertainment and determined that it has been using bots to scoop up pricy tickets for a long time.

On one occasion, Ticketmaster claimed, Prestige Entertainment managed to purchase 21,000 tickets to “Hamilton” on Broadway in a matter of moments, while another instance saw Prestige nab a slew of tickets to the 2015 Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight in Las Vegas. At least in the former instance, Ticketmaster was able to cancel the purchases and put the tickets back up for sale.

Ticketmaster accuses Prestige of copyright infringement and violating terms of use by employing bots on both its website and its mobile app, also hurling allegations of breach of contract, fraud, and violations of state and federal computer abuse laws.

“Ticketmaster is suing Prestige Entertainment over their use of bots to instantly and illegally purchase tens of thousands of tickets and leave real fans out in the cold,” a company spokeswoman said in a statement. “Ticketmaster has zero tolerance for bots and will continue to employ all available methods to stop their usage.”

Claiming that Prestige has pocketed tens of millions of dollars by reselling tickets purchased on Ticketmaster, the company is demanding a chunk of those profits be paid in damages. Ticketmaster also wants the court to place a permanent injunction against Prestige banning it from using bots in the future.

Earlier this year, Prestige paid $3.35 million in fines for scalping hundreds of thousands of tickets in New York since 2011, a scheme that was busted by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office. Five other companies were also forced to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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