Tickets for Bruce Springsteen's 2016 tour will not go on sale until Friday, but hundreds of seats have already been listed for up to $5,000 or more on StubHub and other resale sites — listings that have drawn the attention of the New York attorney general in the latest volley over the $8 billion ticket scalping business.
On Monday, letters from the office of the attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, were sent to StubHub and two other popular resale sites, TicketNetwork and Vivid Seats, asking about "speculative" ticket listings — offerings of seats on secondary markets when the seller may not actually possess the advertised tickets. Such listings are common in the online ticketing world, but the attorney general believes that they may constitute deceptive advertising, which would violate state business laws.
"Speculative tickets harm both consumers and the ticket industry," says the letter, signed by Jordan Adler, an assistant attorney general in the office's Internet bureau. "In many cases, consumers who purchase a speculative ticket do not receive the seats that were advertised and paid for. In some cases, consumers receive no tickets at all. Speculative ticket sales also drive up prices for consumers, and often cause widespread confusion and frustration among consumers, who wonder how tickets can appear on the resale market before tickets are released to the public."