Ah, the ticket bot, the online foe of the frustrated concertgoer who just wants to see L.C.D. Soundsystem's "retirement show" or Hamilton or Phish, only to get stymied by ticket brokers flooding the line. Unlike you, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman can do more than just bellow at the heavens when this happens, and he announced today that he came to a settlement worth millions of dollars with six companies that used ticket bots to purchase and re-sell tickets over the last six years.
According to Schneiderman, the A.G.'s office reached a settlement worth $4.19 million with six companies (Prestige Entertainment, Presidential Tickets, Concert Specials, Inc., Fanfetch Inc. and BMC Capital Partners, Inc.). Five of them were accused of using illegal ticket bot software to buy massive amounts of concert tickets which they then resold to consumers. A sixth company (JAL Enterprises, LLC) admitted to reselling the tickets without a license to do so in New York State, as did Prestige Entertainment, Presidential Tickets, Concert Specials and Fanfetch.
A state law passed in 2016 increased civil penalties for ticket bot scalpers and expanded the law to include anyone who knowingly resells tickets that a bot initially purchased. According to the terms of Schneiderman's settlement, the companies will keep their licenses to resell tickets in New York and agree to no longer use ticket bots, in addition to paying the state $4.19 million in penalties and returned profits.
"Unscrupulous ticket resellers who break the rules and take advantage of ordinary consumers are one of the major reasons why ticketing remains a rigged system," said Attorney General Schneiderman said in a statement. "We will continue to fight to make ticketing a more fair and transparent marketplace, so fans have the opportunity to enjoy their favorite shows and events. Anybody who breaks the law will pay a steep price."