HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, acting at the request of the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, will join the Federal Trade Commission in filing a federal complaint and consent orders against TicketNetwork Inc. and its partners for unfair trade practices.
The Connecticut-based TicketNetwork is a ticket resale company. In addition to TicketNetwork, the complaint and consent orders filed in U.S. District Court also name the company's wholly-owned TicketSoftware LLC subsidiary, as well as Ryadd Inc. and SecureBoxOffice LLC, two companies that are part of TicketNetwork's Partner Program.
The complaint also names Ryadd co-owners Ryan J. Bagley and Charles A. Lineberry and SecureBoxOffice owner James Moran.
The defendants are all part of the secondary ticket market that sees resellers advertise and sell event tickets to consumers. Consumers in the primary ticket market buy at face value directly from a venue box office or from an authorized ticket service, while the secondary market, operating primary online, sells tickets for prices above face value.
The defendants allegedly used website design, web addresses and such terms as "official" for tickets to falsely create an impression with consumers that the defendants' online sites were official sites for venues or other entities authorized to sell tickets at face value when the sites were actually secondary market sites reselling tickets at higher prices.
The actions of the defendants are in violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act, according to the complaint.
"This settlement will help Connecticut consumers avoid confusion and deception in the ticket resale market, and I commend [Consumer Protection] Commissioner [William] Rubenstein and his department for their leadership on this matter," Jepsen said. "Today's consent order ensures that consumers will not be misled, whether intentionally or unintentionally, when seeking to purchase tickets through a reseller."
Under consent orders filed in U.S. District Court on Thursday that have been agreed to by the defendants but must be approved by the court, the defendants are prohibited from misrepresenting, directly or by implication, that their resale websites are affiliated with any venue box office.
The defendants and all of their associates must also disclose on their ticket listing pay and payment authorization page that their site is a resale ticket marketplace, ticket prices may exceed face value, and that the site is not owned by the venue, team, performer or promoter of purchased tickets.
Additionally, Ryadd and co-owners Ryan J. Bagley and Charles A. Lineberry must pay $550,000 to the state of Connecticut, SecureBoxOffice and owner James Moran will pay $100,000, and TicketNetwork and TicketSoftware will pay $750,000.