Ticketmaster Files $10M Suit Against Firm That Used “Bots” To Scalp Thousands Of “Hamilton” Tickets

first_imgNew Yorkers–and countless people outside the Big Apple–know that the absolute toughest tickets in town, on literally any given night, are the tickets to smash historical Broadway hip-hop homage Hamilton. There are roughly 1,300 seats in the Richard Rodgers Theatre (where Hamilton is staged) and the show is performed 8 times a week, and yet the waiting list for tickets from the box office remains at least a full year long. Of course, you could always head over to the secondary market to buy tickets…where prices for tomorrow evening’s performance currently range from ~$300 for single “cheap” seats to ~$3,000 for orchestra level tickets. It’s been that way every night since it debuted on Broadway in 2015.President Obama Signs National Law Banning The Use Of Ticket BotsLast week, corporate ticketing giant Ticketmaster filed a lawsuit against a large-scale scalper who allegedly used illegal technology to buy tens of thousands of tickets before selling the for extravagantly marked-up prices. The lawsuit, filed against Prestige Entertainment in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles seeks damages that a source familiar with the situation said is in excess of $10 million. According to the suit, Ticketmaster had been tracking Prestige Entertainment for the past two years. Prestige managed to use software “bots” to quickly purchase about 30,000 tickets to Hamilton often up to 40% of the entire amount of tickets available for a given performance, the suit says.Ticketmaster wound up canceling the purchases and putting the tickets back in the system so fans would have a better crack at them, a source with knowledge of the situation explained to the NY Daily News. The Daily News also reported that the accused, Prestige Entertainment, purchased the majority of Ticketmaster’s allotment of tickets to 2015’s blockbuster Floyd Mayweather–Manny Pacquiao fight. All told, Ticketmaster’s records show that from January 2015 through September 2016, Prestige and its associates made at least 313,528 orders using 9,047 different accounts.Ticketmaster had previously sent a cease and desist letter to Prestige Entertainment putting it on notice, but the ticket broker didn’t stop, the source said. The suit says Prestige and its associates “surreptitiously attempt to conceal their identities by using a variety of account names, email addresses, physical addresses, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, and credit cards.” In all, Prestige made tens of millions of dollars reselling tickets to live events, the majority of which were procured using illegal ticket bots.The suit says various individuals and companies who operate in the shadows and whose identifies are not yet publicly known assisted Prestige, and others by creating, marketing and providing bots designed to interact with Ticketmaster’s website and mobile app.“Ticketmaster has zero tolerance for bots and will continue to employ all available methods to stop their usage.”[h/t – NY Daily News]last_img

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