MANHATTAN (CN) – A federal class action claims that TicketNetwork violates New York law by letting unlicensed ticket brokers sell and resell tickets anonymously through its website “without disclosing the face value of the tickets or the identity of the ticket seller at the time of sale.” The class claims that violates New York’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Law.
TicketNetwork “maintains a ‘network’ that allows unlicensed ticket resellers to anonymously sell tickets … without disclosing the face value of the tickets or the identity of the ticket seller at the time of sale,” the class claims.
It adds that TicketNetwork’s software lets unlicensed ticket resellers “maintain private-label websites to connect to TicketNetwork’s inventory of tickets,” in violation of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law, which requires brokers to be licensed.
The class claims they are forced to pay higher ticket prices and they “are not provided with the information required pursuant to ACAL Article 25 such as the face value of the ticket or the identity of the seller.”
TicketNetwork and its network members post “terms and policies” on their websites stating that the sites act “‘as an intermediately between buyers and ticket sellers … to facilitate’ resale and ‘is not directly involved in the actual ticket sale transaction,'” according to the complaint.
Lead plaintiff Andrea Weinstein says she bought two tickets to a showing of “A Little Night Music” from newyorkcitytheatre.com, for which she paid $102 apiece. When she got the tickets, she saw their face value was $79 apiece.
The identity of the seller was not disclosed when she bought the tickets, and when she got them she realized “that the tickets were not purchased from the Walter Kerr Theatre as she had thought but were actually purchased from a ticket broker, Up Front Premium Ticket Source.”
She claims that TicketNetwork owns and runs newyorkcitytheatre.com “in a manner that misleads consumers to believe that they are purchasing tickets to ‘A Little Night Music’ from the Walter Kerr Theatre.”
Donald Vaccaro, the founder of TicketNetwork, “has boasted to the media that he has been scalping tickets to places of entertainment located in New York since 1979,” the complaint states. Vaccaro founded TicketNetwork, one of the 10 largest ticket resellers, in 2002.
The class seeks declaration that TicketNetwork is “engaged in the resale of tickets to places of entertainment located in New York and are required to be licensed pursuant to ACAL,” and an injunction to stop it from reselling tickets without licensing.
It also wants TicketNetwork ordered to reveal the identity of each ticket-seller “prior to the consummation of the sale.”
The class is represented by Randall Newman.