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Flash Seats and the Cleveland Cavaliers have filed suit against Ticketmaster, the dominant ticketing
company in professional sports. The complaint was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
In the complaint, Flash Seats and the Cavaliers seek “to stop Ticketmaster’s ongoing campaign to utilize its substantial market power in ticketing service to exclude actual and potential competition,” in violation of federal and state antitrust laws.
The complaint also alleges that Ticketmaster is “coercively seeking to enforce its primary-ticketing contracts (relating to the direct sale of tickets to the public) with the Cavaliers and other customers” by requiring them to use only Ticketmaster’s own secondary-ticketing program (relating to the resale of tickets) or none at all.
From the press release:
Sam Gerace, chief executive officer of Flash Seats, said, “Fans deserve to enjoy and benefit from a free and open marketplace. We believe fans suffer from less competition and less innovation due to the Ticketmaster business practices we address in our lawsuit. We further believe
Ticketmaster is trying to prevent the Cavaliers and numerous other professional sports teams from offering their fans the ability to buy and sell tickets on any secondary- marketing exchange Ticketmaster does not own, as well as preventing fans from enjoying innovative new technology
products that are not Ticketmaster’s. We feel it is time to put a stop to these practices.”
“We have been focused on this issue for some time,” said Len Komoroski, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena president. “Our fans have used and enjoyed the Flash Seats service this past season, and after many months of discussion with Ticketmaster were unproductive, we felt compelled to take this action. How can Ticketmaster be allowed to prevent a team from
offering a service to its fans that Ticketmaster itself does not offer? Should pro sports teams simply be limited to offering only services that Ticketmaster decides to offer? We think the answer to that is very clear. No.”