Ticketmaster Pays $265M for Online Scalper

Purchase signals major shift in resellers' business model
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2008 2:05 PM CST
IAC/InterActiveCorp, owner of Citysearch and Ticketmaster, CEO Barry Diller is interviewed in his office at the company headquarters in New York in this June 27, 2005 file photo. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Fans who once turned to scalpers for last-minute seats can now hit up ... Ticketmaster? In a sure sign of the online ticket resale boom, the sports and entertainment behemoth will buy TicketsNow, the second-largest online ticket reseller, reports the Wall Street Journal. "Clients who five years ago were not willing to allow a ticket to be resold now want a piece," said Ticketmaster's CEO.

Ticketmaster sells most of the ducats resold by TicketsNow and industry leader StubHub, but it sees little or no revenue. The $265 million deal will allow Ticketmaster to share income with venue owners or promoters. The company has sued scalpers who use "bots" to scoop up blocks of tickets for resale, and it says it will continue to work against the practice.