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UPDATE 2-NY's top prosecutor targets NFL in antitrust probe - source
2016年1月28日 / 晚上8点04分 / 2 年前

UPDATE 2-NY's top prosecutor targets NFL in antitrust probe - source

(Adds New York Yankees comment)
    By Mica Rosenberg and Sarah N. Lynch
    NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, Jan 28 (Reuters) - New York Attorney
General Eric Schneiderman is conducting an antitrust
investigation of the NFL and its practice of imposing
"price-floors" on certain tickets as part of an ongoing probe
into the online ticketing market, a source said on Thursday.
    The antitrust investigation grew out of a probe by the
attorney general's office into irregularities in the ticketing
industry, which found that ticket brokers were using illegal
software programs to snap up thousands of tickets and reselling
them with huge price markups.
    The source familiar with the NFL antitrust probe, who asked
not to be identified because of the non-public nature of the
matter, said it was spurred by a flood of complaints about use
of the illegal software known as ticket bots.
    A report released on Wednesday by Schneiderman's office 
detailed how the National Football League, and sports teams like
the New York Yankees, implement rules barring sales of tickets
below a certain price level on official sites. 
    "Price floors may make it impossible to obtain tickets on
the team-promoted Ticket Exchange platform for below face value
when demand decreases," like during games at the end of a sports
season between teams not headed to the playoffs, the report
    The NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment
on the antitrust investigation. 
    A New York Yankees spokesperson said its voluntary program
Yankees Ticket Exchange was set up, in part, because of fraud by
principle entities in the secondary market and added that they
wondered why the report had no mention of where most significant
frauds in the marketplace occurs.
    The report also says that excessive service charges for
tickets,  "may constitute evidence of abuse of monopoly power,
especially as they relate to the resale of sports tickets."  
    Problems in the ticket industry extend beyond sports to
popular concerts and theater productions, the attorney general's
office report said.
    Bots, illegal computer programs that automate the process of
searching for and buying tickets to events on ticket vendor
platforms, were used by brokers to purchase large volumes of
tickets, which were later marked up sometimes by more than 1,000
percent to yield easy profits, the attorney general said.
    In one example cited by Schneiderman, a single broker bought
1,012 tickets in one minute to a Dec. 8, 2014 concert of the
band U2, despite a claim by the ticket vendor that there was a
four-ticket limit. By the end of the day, that same broker had
bought more than 15,000 tickets to U2's shows across North
    The report recommended imposing criminal penalties for using
'bots' to buy tickets in bulk and capping the amount ticket
resellers can markup prices.

 (Reporting by Mica Rosenberg in New York, Sarah N. Lynch in
Washington DC and Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by
Noeleen Walder, Tom Brown and Gopakumar Warrier)

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