Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Investigates Ticketmaster For Funneling Tickets To Subsidiary To Inflate Prices

February 5, 2009

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today confirmed that he is investigating Ticketmaster and TicketsNow after the related companies allegedly charged consumers inflated resale prices for Bruce Springsteen tickets.

Blumenthal's office has received several complaints from Connecticut consumers who unsuccessfully tried to buy Springsteen tickets for a New Jersey concert earlier this week.

The Ticketmaster site notified many consumers of technical difficulties, while others were notified that tickets were sold out. At the same time, Ticketmaster's site offered an alternative for consumers to buy the tickets through its subsidiary resale site, TicketsNow, for hundreds of dollars above face value.

Ticketmaster, the sole broker for the concert, reportedly redirected fans to TicketsNow, where higher prices were charged.

Blumenthal's office is requesting information and documents about the Ticketmaster's relationship with its TicketsNow subsidiary.

"Glory days for Ticketmaster -- and its reported stranglehold on tickets -- cannot be used to manipulate the market and cut out consumers," Blumenthal said. "I am deeply disturbed that Ticketmaster may be exploiting its market dominance -- funneling consumers to its subsidiary in order to inflate profits.

"My office is investigating complaints from rejected consumers who believe Ticketmaster gave them the illegal run around when they wanted to see Bruce sing 'Born to Run'.

"This Springsteen sale raises disturbing questions about Ticketmaster's relationship with TicketsNow -- and whether tickets that should have been available were improperly diverted.

"This experience heightens my concerns about antitrust and consumer protections raised by Ticketmaster's possible merger with Live Nation. I will be discussing with other attorneys general possible investigation of such a merger."