NEWARK, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - Two New Jersey-based ticket brokers sued by state Attorney General Anne Milgram for offering concert tickets for sale before they were available to the general public have agreed to change their business practice.
Almost Backstage, Inc., doing business as abtickets.com, and Ticket Town, Inc., doing business as northeasttickets.com, have agreed to end their sale of concert tickets prior to the initial on-sale date and to pay $5,000 to settle the suits brought against them.
The defendants, who did not admit to any violations in agreeing to the settlement, will also not offer for sale or advertise any concert ticket not yet available to the public and will not offer tickets prior to obtaining ownership, custody and control of the tickets or obtaining a contractual right to the tickets.
"We want to end the fraud committed against the public through the offering of phantom tickets," Milgram said.
"Our message to the ticket resale industry is very clear - it is fraud to sell something that you don't have and may never have, while giving the public the impression that these tickets are yours to sell."
The defendants were alleged to have advertised and sold purported tickets to September and October Bruce Springsteen concerts at Giants Stadium prior to the tickets' sale to the general public. Many of the tickets advertised were identified by specific section and row number at prices from $317-$575, far exceeding face value.
The lawsuits come as part of the attorney general's continuing policing of consumer fraud in the concert ticket sales industries.
Three additional lawsuits filed in May against other ticket sellers remain active. The lawsuits name Select-A-Ticket, Inc., of Riverdale, N.J., and Orbitz Worldwide, Inc., doing business as cheaptickets.com, of Chicago, and Ticketnetwork, Inc., based in Connecticut, who are believed to be partners in a joint venture advertising and reselling tickets to events in New Jersey.
In February, the Attorney General's Office and the Division of Consumer Affairs reached an agreement with Ticketmaster over tickets offered for sale on the company's TicketsNow resale site after an investigation into the availability of tickets to Springsteen concerts held in May at the Izod Center in East Rutherford.
Ticketmaster agreed to change its business practices under the terms of that settlement, agreeing to end ticket resales on the TicketsNow site before tickets go on sale on the Ticketmaster site.