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Ticketmaster to Springsteen: 'We sincerely apologize'

February 5, 2009 | 10:04 am
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Bruce Springsteen has posted a letter of apology his camp has received from Irving Azoff, the CEO of Ticketmaster. It concerns last week's incident in which many fans were unable to log on to Ticketmaster when tickets to some 2009 tour dates went on sale, but were quickly redirected to Ticketmaster's resale site, TicketsNow, where tickets to those shows were being sold at a steep markup.

Springsteen and his management posted their response on his website, calling the relationship between Ticketmaster and TicketsNow "a pure conflict of interest." Complaints from more than 250 fans have prompted the New Jersey attorney general's office to launch an investigation.

"Consumers are questioning what transpired and if they had an equal opportunity to purchase these concert tickets. We share these concerns and are investigating this matter," Atty. Gen. Anne Milgram said.

Azoff has now issued an open letter of apology to Springsteen and his fans, saying that the ticket service "was trying to do the right thing" but "we clearly missed the mark." As a result, Azoff's letter states that "we will never again link to TicketsNow in a manner that can possibly create any confusion during a high-demand on-sale."

The full letter:

AN OPEN LETTER OF APOLOGY TO BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, JON LANDAU AND THE ENTIRE SPRINGSTEEN TOUR TEAM:

While we were genuinely trying to do the right thing for fans in providing more choices when the tickets they requested from the primary on-sale were not available, we clearly missed the mark. Fans are confused and angry, which is the opposite of what we hoped to accomplish. We sincerely apologize to Bruce, his organization and, above all, his fans.

We recognize that we need to change our course. We have committed to Bruce and state publicly here that we have taken down all links for Bruce's shows directing fans from Ticketmaster to TicketsNow. This redirection only occurred as a choice when we could not satisfy fans' specific search request for primary ticket inventory, but to make sure there is no misunderstanding in the future, we also publicly state that we will never again link to TicketsNow in a manner that can possibly create any confusion during a high-demand on-sale. Specifically, we will not present an option to go to TicketsNow from Ticketmaster without the consent of the artist and the venue, both of whom work together to bring the joy of live entertainment to millions of fans.

If any fans inadvertently purchased tickets in the resale marketplace believing in error they were purchasing from the initial on-sale, we will refund the difference between the actual purchase price and the face price of the ticket. (Please don't abuse this good faith gesture -- we did not give brokers any preferential access to tickets.)

We are committed to helping deliver the most transparent and best live entertainment experience to fans. We will do better going forward.

Sincerely,

Irving Azoff, CEO, Ticketmaster Entertainment

-- Randy Lewis

Photo: Associated Press

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