9:01am PT by Eriq Gardner
Ticketmaster Sues Brokers for Using Bots to Gain Advantage
Ticketmaster is once again in court in an attempt to do something about brokers who use "bots" to gain an advantage in buying and selling tickets. On Monday, the subsidiary of Live Nation filed suit in California against Prestige Entertainment, Renaissance Ventures and two individuals for allegedly using technology to circumvent the rules and roadblocks put in place to crack down on ticket scalping.
The appearance of these targets in a new lawsuit is notable. Earlier this year, Prestige/Renaissance agreed to fund $3.35 million of a $4.2 million settlement made with New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman and abstain from using bots to purchase tickets.
"However, Ticketmaster has already uncovered evidence that suggests Renaissance has already breached the agreement by continuing to utilize bots to purchase tickets offered by Ticketmaster," states the complaint.
The defendants are accused of buying up bulk tickets to events like Hamilton and a Floyd Mayweather boxing matches by using bots to get past technological countermeasures like CAPTCHA and "splunk" account identifiers. Ticketmaster points to how the use of bots is against its terms of service. The plaintiff also says defendants have ignored cease and desist warnings.
Ticketmaster adds that use of bots is leading consumers to question its ability to ensure a level playing field and wasting resources. The complaint is grounded on causes of action of breach of contract, copyright infringement, the Digital Millennium Act, fraud, tortious interference, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and New York's anti-scalping law. Represented by attorneys at Manatt Phelps, Ticketmaster is demanding an injunction and further monetary relief.