Ticketmaster Files Suit Against EBay's StubHub Unit

Ticketmaster is suing eBay in Los Angeles, accusing the Internet auction company's subsidiary StubHub of fraudulently obtaining premium tickets to sell online.

The lawsuit, filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, said StubHub induced artists' representatives or promoters to demand tickets from Ticketmaster's venue clients as part of a deal to bring an act or sports team to a location.

In some cases, representatives for the acts had the tickets held back for "fan clubs" but intended to sell them via StubHub, according to documents filed with the lawsuit.

Representatives for eBay could not be reached for comment.

Ticketmaster said StubHub's intermediaries made it clear to the venues that if they refused to provide the tickets, they might not be considered for future events, the lawsuit said.

Ticketmaster's agreements with the venues "generally do not permit its clients to utilize or authorize the use of the services of another ticketing company, such as StubHub," the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit seeks compensation for lost sales, damages and a permanent injunction barring StubHub from selling or reselling or facilitating the sales and resales of tickets from venues or artists exclusively under contract to Ticketmaster.

The amount of damages and losses would be determined at trial, the suit said.

Ticketmaster, a subsidiary of IAC/InteractiveCorp , runs its own ticket auction Web site called Ticketexchange.com.

The company has long dominated event ticketing and its surcharges have been the subject of artist and fan protests.

StubHub, an Internet marketplace for buying and selling tickets to entertainment events, has a Partners Program that offers premium tickets to acts with which the company has a promotional partnership.

It is that business that Ticketmaster is mainly targeting in the Los Angeles lawsuit, which centers on StubHub's sales of premium tickets for the current Lynyrd Skynyrd/Hank Williams Jr. "Rowdy Frynds" tour.

Ticketmaster claims in the lawsuit that it has warned StubHub of the alleged wrongdoing several times over the past two years.