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New York AG expresses concern over Springsteen ticket gouge

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 9:00 PM

Tickets for Bruce Springsteen’s upcoming tour don’t go on sale until Friday, but already ticket resellers are listing them online.Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS

Tickets for Bruce Springsteen’s upcoming tour don’t go on sale until Friday, but already ticket resellers are listing them online.

ALBANY — Baby, they were born to gouge.

Tickets for Bruce Springsteen’s upcoming tour don’t go on sale until Friday, but already ticket resellers are listing them online — leading state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to wonder how.

Schneiderman’s office sent letters expressing concern to three leading online sites that offer tickets on the secondary market.

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The letters to StubHub, TicketNetwork and Vivid Seats noted that tickets for Springsteen’s shows next month at Madison Square Garden are already being offered for up to $ 5,000.

Resellers, the letters say, offer the tickets despite not having them on hand with the idea they will purchase them at a lower price from a different source before selling them for profit.

Eric Schneiderman's office sent letters expressing concern to three leading online sites that offer tickets on the secondary market.Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Eric Schneiderman’s office sent letters expressing concern to three leading online sites that offer tickets on the secondary market.

“Speculative tickets harm both consumers and the ticket industry,” wrote Jordan Adler, an assistant attorney general in the internet bureau.

“Speculative ticket sales also drive up prices for consumers, and often cause widespread confusion and frustration among consumers, who wonder how tickets can appear on the resale market before tickets are released to the public,” he added.

In many cases, ticket buyers ultimately don’t actually get the seats they think they’re buying, Adler wrote. Sometimes, they don’t receive any tickets at all, he said.

A Schneiderman spokesman said the office believes it is illegal to offer something the seller does not yet have and can’t provide.

He said it could be considered deceptive advertising under state general business law.

Schneiderman’s office asked the companies to review the listings on their sites for Springsteen’s upcoming concerts in New York and remove all speculative ticket listings.

The attorney general also wants to meet with the companies to discuss a range of issues, including when the tickets for the New York City, Albany and Rochester Springsteen concerts were first listed.

Other issues will include how speculative tickets are identified, what steps are taken to remove them from the sites, and if there are any consequences for the sellers.

A TicketNetwork spokesman said the site provides a secure online marketplace for buyers and sellers.

But “maintaining our place as an industry leader in transparency and compliance, we have voluntarily chosen to take down any inventory listed on our site for Bruce Springsteen concerts in New York until the public sale this Friday and urge any other sites that have them listed now to do the same,” the company said in a statement.

StubHub, which the attorney general’s office said has a policy against speculative ticket sales, and Vivid Seats did not return emails for comment.

Tags:
eric schneiderman ,
bruce springsteen ,
madison square garden
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