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Attorney general and ticket brokers agree on $4.5M settlement

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Posted at 11:07 AM, May 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-11 11:07:04-04

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has announced settlements with six ticket brokers that illegally purchased and resold hundreds of thousands of tickets in New York State since 2011.

Five of the companies – Renaissance Ventures, LLC (d/b/a Prestige Entertainment) of Connecticut, Ebrani Corp (d/b/a Presidential Tickets) of New York, Concert Specials, Inc. of New York, Fanfetch Inc. of New York and BMC Capital Partners, Inc. of New York – violated New York’s ticket laws by using illegal software (known as ticket “bots”) to purchase large numbers of tickets on websites such as Ticketmaster.com before the tickets could be obtained by consumers. 

After obtaining the tickets illegally, resellers then resold them at a large profit to New York consumers.

The settlements require that the companies and their principals maintain proper ticket reseller licenses if they wish to resell tickets to New York events, abstain from using bots, and pay penalties for having operated illegally. The settlements require the six companies to pay a combined total of $4.19 million.

The Attorney General also announced a settlement with a seventh company, Componica, LLC of Iowa, that developed software libraries used by ticket bots to try to get around tests that websites use to determine if a user is a human or a bot.  Componica has agreed to not develop or use software to bypass security measures on ticketing websites.

“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. “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.”

In 2016, New York enacted legislation called for by Attorney General Schneiderman that added criminal penalties for bot use to the existing civil penalties.  That law took effect in February 2017.  The settlements announced to date involved misconduct committed before the new law took effect.