Should Ticketmaster Be Suing Scalpers?

Ticketmaster-logoThis article details a lawsuit that Ticketmaster has filed against a secondary ticket broker who does business mostly in Massachusetts. The suit is complex, but it seems that the thrust of it is that Higs Tickets uses bots to buy tickets to events and then resells them.

I don’t know the details of the case, and I don’t like to speculate about this kind of thing, but my overall observation in this area is this: Traditionally, the relationship between ticketers (and venues) and brokers has been adversarial. And this is despite the fact that in many ways, there’s a potentially mutually beneficial relationship there. I’ve been really happy to see some brokers develop good, constructive relationships with primary sellers, taking risks on tickets up front in exchange for inventory.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that any broker who can’t find a way to be an asset to the primary market venue (and ticketer) is going to be under more and more stress like this in years to come. I believe strongly that people have the right to sell their own property, which means that the secondary market should exist. On the other hand, there isn’t a right to use bots or automated tools or anything else to buy tickets for resale, or as far as that goes, to be able to buy a certain amount of a certain product.

Someone will always be able to make a living on the “outlaw fringe” figuring out the way to chisel inventory away, but it’s going to be a skinnier and skinnier fringe all the time.

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