Federal agencies filed their first case under a 2016 anti-bot act to crack down on ticket scalpers. Three New York-based ticket brokers had to pay $ 3.7 million in fines after allegedly making millions of dollars through bot-based ticket resale programs, the Federal Trade Commission said on Friday.
The Companies – Cartisim Corp., owned by Simon Ebrani; Just In Time Tickets, owned by Evan Kohanian; and Concert Specials, owned by Steven Ebrani, are accused of collecting more than 150,000 tickets from Ticketmaster to be resold for a premium. In total, the three reported earning an estimated $ 26.1 million in estimated earnings. The FTC says they allegedly used automated ticket buying software, tools to hide their IP addresses, and an army of hundreds of fake accounts and credit cards to bypass Ticketmaster’s shopping limits and protections designed to detect non-human visitors, among other things.
FTC regulators added that these are the agency’s first enforcement actions under the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act, an anti-bot law passed in 2016 that prohibits ticket scalpers from using automated means of buying tickets in Use large quantities and bypass purchase caps.
« These ticket brokers used bots and other technical tricks to collect thousands of tickets to popular events as soon as they went on sale, » said FTC consumer protection bureau director Andrew Smith in Friday’s announcement. « Not only does this deprive loyal fans from seeing their favorite artists and shows, it is also against the law. »
The three ticket brokers were originally charged more than $ 31 million in civil fines for violating BOTS law as part of a proposed settlement with the FTC. However, federal regulators agreed to suspend the majority of these fines due to corporate insolvency – provided they meet certain conditions. In the future, the defendants could claim the full amount if it is found that they have either breached the BOTS law again, forged their financial documents to qualify for the amount of the suspended settlement, or the authorities did not routinely refer to the Have updated records and compliance reports. Once a judge approves these news terms, Concert Specials will pay about $ 1.56 million, Just-In-Time Tickets about $ 1.64 million, and Cartisim Corp just under $ 500,000 to the U.S. Treasury Department.
What events did these scalpers go after? The FTC’s complaints are not in great detail, other than that their alleged targets included multiple sporting events and musical performances, including Elton John concerts. So if you’ve got the price of seeing Rocket Man live, now you know who to blame.