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Ticketmaster Stops Linking To TicketsNow...


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[color:red]Ticketmaster Agrees To Stop Linking To TicketsNow


Posted on Monday February 23, 2009 at 03:01 PM 6 |

The New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram announces the ticket seller agrees to stop sending customers to its own reseller ticket site, TicketsNow.

Owned by Ticketmaster, TicketsNow is a third-party ticketing site where tickets are bought and sold between individuals, often at amounts higher than original box office prices.

The announcement comes three weeks after Bruce Springsteen fans complained Ticketmaster had sent them to TicketsNow when they tried to buy tickets during an onsale Feb. 2.

Sound familiar? That’s the onsale Springsteen complained about in an “open letter†posted on his official Web site.

“Ticketmaster is there to ensure that we have a good, fair sale of our tickets at their face value plus normal ticketing charges,†wrote Springsteen.

“TicketsNow is supposed to be a secondary site where people who already have tickets may exchange, trade, and, unfortunately, speculate with them. We have asked this redirection from Ticketmaster to TicketsNow cease and desist immediately and Ticketmaster has agreed to do so in the future and has removed its unwanted material from their and our site.â€

Shortly after Springsteen wrote his missive complaining about Ticketmaster’s handling of his onsale, Ticketmaster Entertainment CEO Irving Azoff issued a response, saying:

“We have committed to Bruce and state publicly here that we have taken down all links for Bruce's shows directing fans from Ticketmaster to TicketsNow. This redirection only occurred as a choice when we could not satisfy fans’ specific search request for primary ticket inventory, but to make sure there is no misunderstanding in the future, we also publicly state that we will never again link to TicketsNow in a manner that can possibly create any confusion during a high-demand on-sale. Specifically, we will not present an option to go to TicketsNow from Ticketmaster without the consent of the artist and the venue, both of whom work together to bring the joy of live entertainment to millions of fans.â€

Now NJ AG Milgram says Ticketmaster has agreed to stop sending customers from Ticketmaster to TicketsNow. Not just for The Boss, and not just in New Jersey, but for all artists and in all states, according to the Star-Ledger.

What’s more, per the settlement Ticketmaster will pay New Jersey $350,000, according to the Star-Ledger, for costs the state accumulated during the investigation. However, while paying the amount, Ticketmaster admits no wrongdoing.

But wait. There’s more.

The AG also said Ticketmaster has agreed to run a lottery that will make 2,000 tickets for Springsteen available at box office prices to fans who complained. Fans who aren’t so lucky in the lottery will receive $100 gift certificates and a chance to purchase tickets to see Springsteen at an upcoming New Jersey show.

The agreement also calls for Ticketmaster scrapping an ad arrangement with Google that sent folks searching for Ticketmaster to the TicketsNow site.

Considering the Springsteen onsale took place on Feb. 2, or three weeks ago today, this must be one of the fastest legal agreements ever struck, not only in the concert industry, but also in any deliberation, anywhere, involving lawyers.

But then, it’s not every day a ticketing company wants to merge with a concert promotion company. By putting this incident in the past, Ticketmaster can focus on its proposed corporate marriage to Live Nation, and not have to worry about Springsteen fans interrupting the ceremony.

Read the Star-Ledger’s account here.

Read Bruce Springsteen's open letter here.

Read Ticketmaster Entertainment CEO Irving Azoff's reply here.

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