Robots Have Been Buying Your Hamilton Tickets!

On October 2, 2017, Ticketmaster, LLC with headquarters located in West Hollywood, filed a federal lawsuit against Prestige Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California.   In the action, Ticketmaster claims that Prestige Entertainment used computer programs (robots) to scoop up large amounts of the tickets available for hot events such as Hamilton in New York and Mayweather v. Pacquiao in Las Vegas on Ticketmaster in an effort to profit from the sale of those tickets in a secondary market at inflated prices.

The programs were so sophisticated that they could bypass automation detection programs implemented by Ticketmaster.  So when humans were attempting to purchase tickets for a hot show on Ticketmaster’s website, the robots were beating them to it, forcing people to buy tickets from the secondary market at much higher prices.  At the same time consumers were losing confidence in the ability to purchase tickets from Ticketmaster in the first place, which was the driving motivation for Ticketmaster to pursue claims against the defendants.

In May 2017, the defendants actually reached an agreement with Ticketmaster which required them to pay a $3.35 million settlement.  Now, it seems, that they have violated the settlement agreement by continuing the robotic mass purchases of tickets, prompting Ticketmaster to file the instant action.

If Ticketmaster is successful in staving off ticket purchases by robots, consumers can benefit by having more access to tickets for hot shows and not being forced to pay inflated ticket prices.

© 2017 Marina Manoukian