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N.J. settles with Ticketmaster over Springsteen tickets

February 23, 2009 |  5:10 pm

The New Jersey attorney general's office has reached a settlement with Ticketmaster over the recent sale of tickets to Bruce Springsteen performances in that state, calling for major changes to the way Ticketmaster does business.

The settlement -- announced Monday, a day before hearings open in Washington on the proposed merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation -- requires Ticketmaster to reform several of its business practices, in particular with regard to its ticket resale operation, TicketsNow.com.

New Jersey Atty. Gen. Anne Milgram said her office received more than 2,000 complaints from would-be ticket buyers after Springsteen tickets went on sale this month. Many said that upon logging in to Ticketmaster's website, they were advised that no tickets were available and then were redirected to TicketsNow, where seats were being offered at prices above face value.

The settlement provides for a random drawing from which 1,000 consumers who filed complaints with the attorney general's office will be selected and allowed to purchase a pair of tickets to shows Springsteen will play in May in his home state.

Additional compensation will be offered to those who aren't selected in the drawing, and Ticketmaster will institute changes including a one-year moratorium on directing Ticketmaster.com users to TicketsNow.com.

Under terms of the settlement, Ticketmaster admits no liability and said in a statement, "Ticketmaster believes that its activities have at all times complied with all relevant laws and regulations."

The drawing and refunds are specific to the ticket sales for two New Jersey concerts, but other aspects of the agreement relating to TicketsNow.com will apply nationwide.

-- Randy Lewis

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Related: Ticketmaster & Live Nation: The Boss is skeptical. Should you be?

Photo credit: EPA