Ticket Scalpers Draw Scrutiny

Is the ticket industry designed to fleece the average consumer?
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2007 8:39 PM CST
Bruce Springsteen performs during his concert with the E Street Band at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, Monday, Oct. 29, 2007. Tickets to see the Boss lately have been going for up to $2,000 a seat. (AP...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Hannah Montana tour is hot—tickets sold out in seconds, and resellers are charging as much as 100 times face value for them. And both the speed of sellouts and eye-popping resale prices for popular artists are arousing suspicion. The Washington Post looks at how scalpers use ticket-buying technology, leaving regular consumers out in the cold.

Ticketmaster says scalpers use automated phone dialing systems, known as "bots," to snap up tickets in seconds. A federal judge sided with the company last month, forbidding a popular broker from using bots. Compounding the problem are promoters who hold back tickets for their own use and local anti-scalping laws, which are enforced rarely if at all.