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Congress takes aim at unfair online ticket purchases


Patrick Terpstra – Cox Washington

Online tickets to today’s hottest shows and sporting events can sell out almost instantly. Scalpers often are to blame, using software known as ticket bots to scoop up seats by the thousands to mark up and sell again later.

Use of ‘ticket bots’ to become a federal crime

The House on Monday approved the Better Online Ticket Sales Act, which would make using ticket bots a federal crime.

The Federal Trade Commission would be empowered to go after scalpers who use the technology for unfair and deceptive practices.

“Bot software is electronically cutting in line ahead of you and me, the casual fan that just wants to see our favorite artist or sports team,” said John Breyault at the National Consumers League.

A list of states already prohibit ticket bots but the technology is not yet a federal crime.

The Senate’s commerce committee willl hold a hearing on ticket bots Tuesday where representatives from StubHub and Ticketfly are scheduled to speak.

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