Industry News

Six ticketing firms to pay $4m to New York state for illegal touting

Six ticketing companies have agreed to fork out almost $4.2m (£3.3m/€3.9m) to New York state in a settlement agreement following allegations of illegal touting in the state.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the settlements yesterday (Thursday), after the firms were accused of obtaining tickets illegally via ‘bot’ software and reselling them at inflated prices to New York customers since 2011.

Prestige Entertainment, Presidential Tickets, Concert Specials, Fanfetch, Top Star Tickets and BMC Capital Partners were the six companies involved in buying hundreds of thousands of tickets illegally.

The majority were using ‘bots’, while others were selling tickets without a proper state licence.

Componica, a seventh company, developed software libraries used by bots to manoeuvre the tests that determine whether a buyer is human or not. It has agreed to stop developing the software.

“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 Attorney General Schneiderman, WKBW news website reports.

“We will continue to fight to make ticketing a more fair and transparent marketplace, so fans have the opportunity to enjoy their favourite shows and events. Anybody who breaks the law will pay a steep price.”

In February 2017, New York state added criminal penalties for using ‘bots’ to existing civil laws. However, the companies were deemed to be partaking in misconduct before the new law took effect.