New York probes sale of 'speculative' Bruce Springsteen tickets on StubHub

Tue Dec 8, 2015 9:10pm EST
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By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The New York Attorney General is investigating why so-called "speculative" tickets to a series of upcoming Bruce Springsteen concerts were listed for sale on websites owned by eBay and two other companies, according to letters seen by Reuters.

The Dec. 7 letters, sent by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office to eBay-owned StubHub Inc., Connecticut-based TicketNetwork Inc. and Illinois-based Vivid Seats Ltd., order them to immediately remove any listings by ticket re-sellers for speculative Springsteen tickets.

It also asks company executives to meet with investigators in the Internet bureau to answer questions about how they identify and combat speculative ticket sales.

Speculative tickets are sold by re-sellers who do not have tickets in hand. They generally try to purchase an actual ticket when they go on sale to the public and pocket the difference between what they charged the buyer and what they paid.

Bruce Springsteen's 2016 concert tour was announced on Dec. 4. He is due to play at several venues in New York, including Madison Square Garden and the Blue Cross Arena.

Although tickets will not go on sale until Dec. 11, Schneiderman's office said it found tickets were already being listed for sale on the three companies' websites.

In the case of StubHub, some of the tickets were being listed for $5,000 or more.

"Speculative tickets harm both consumers and the ticket industry," wrote Assistant Attorney General for the Internet Bureau Jordan Adler.   Continued...

Musician Bruce Springsteen performs during The Concert for Valor on the National Mall on Veterans' Day in Washington, November 11, 2014.    REUTERS/Gary Cameron