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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Sunday, September 24, 2017

Ticket brokers must pay a $4 million fine for illegally buying tickets and reselling them to the public at higher prices

Several ticket brokers must pay the consequences of buying and reselling tickets at higher prices, a process known as “scalping”. The group has settled its case out of court and now is required to come up with a total of $4 million. The amount of tickets sold illegally is estimated to run into the range of hundreds of thousands. The illicit tickets drew in buyers because they were provided for sell out concerts for artists such as Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones. 

State attorney general Eric Schneiderman announced that the ticket scalping company in question had utilized illegal “bots” in order to buy tickets in bulk before they were made available to the public through Ticketmaster and other sites. 

It is legal to resell tickets in New York State, so long as you have ticket seller licenses. The companies in question had no such licenses. In spite of this, the scalpers resold the tickets in order to make generate larger profits.  

The large scale scam started in 2011 and included the mass and widespread scalping of tickets of New York concerts. This included Springsteen at the Times Union center in 2014, the Rolling Stones concert at the Ralph Wilson stadium in 2015, Ed Sheeran at the Times Union Center in 2015 as well as Luke Bryan at the Constellation Brand as well as Marvin Canandaigua in 2014. 

According to the Attorney General’s office, the Prestige Entertainment company bought 1,012 tickets for the July 19th U2 concert. 

In addition to the fine, the settlement also requires the companies to obtain proper licenses in order to resell the tickets and prohibits them from using bots in order to purchase them. 

The dishonest brokers include Prestige Entertainment, Presidential tickets, concert special, Fanfetch, BMC Capital partners and Top Star tickets. The companies will pay a combined total of $4.19 million to the state in “disgorged” or illegally obtained profits and penalties. 

Prestige will pay the highest portion of the settlement at $3.3 million. 

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued the following statement with regard to the illicit activity: “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…we will continue to fight to make ticketing a more transparent marketplace, so fans have the opportunity to enjoy their favorite shows and events. Anybody that breaks the law will pay a steep price.”