NEW YORK STATE (WIVB) – The New York State Attorney General’s Office has reached settlements with six ticket brokers that illegally purchased and resold hundreds of thousands of tickets using illegal software known as “ticket bots”.
Five of the six brokers used ticket bots to purchase large numbers of tickets on websites like StubHub, Vivid Seats, and Ticketmaster.com before the tickets could be obtained by consumers. The tickets were then resold to New York consumers at a large profit.
The settlements require that the companies and their principals maintain proper ticket reseller licenses if they wish to resell tickets to events in New York. They must also abstain from using bots and pay penalties for having operated illegally- a combined total of $4.19 million among the six companies. The companies are Prestige Entertainment of Connecticut (Renaissance Ventures, LLC), Presidential Tickets of New York (Ebrani Corp), Concert Specials, Inc. of New York, Fanfetch Inc. of New York, BMC Capital Partners of New York, and Top Star Tickets of Massachusetts (JAL Enterprises, LLC).
The Attorney General also announced a settlement with a seventh company, Componica, LLC of Iowa, that developed software libraries used by ticket bots to try and get around tests that websites use to determine whether a user is a human or a bot (i.e. CAPTCHA). Componica has agreed not to develop or use software to bypass security measures on ticketing websites.
The investigation found that Prestige Entertainment ran one of the largest ticket purchasing and reselling operations in the country, utilizing at least two different bots and thousands of credit cards and Ticketmaster accounts to purchase tickets to New York Shows. Prestige purchased 1,012 tickets to a 2014 U2 concert at Madison Square Garden in one minute.