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Proposed $16 million dollar settlement in Ticketmaster class action suit pending approval

In 2009, a class action lawsuit was filed against Ticketmaster by ticket buyers who were automatically redirected by Ticketmaster to TicketsNow.com, a reseller charging prices above face value. Between 2008 and 2009, ticket buyers across the country purchasing tickets for shows by acts like Bruce Springsteen, Miley Cyrus and Radiohead, among others, were redirected without notification. A proposed settlement of as much as $16,500,00 is pending approval in California District Court.

In February 2009, Ellen Diamond filed a class action complaint against Ticketmaster in California District Court, and her suit was followed by ten additional suits, all making similar claims and all of which were consolidated into one action, with approximately 165,000 subsequent members of the class.

Once the proposed settlement has been approved, the members of the class, which includes a number of Coloradans, will receive information about how to redeem the settlement, which, as proposed, is either $10 (thus the up to $16,500,000 figure) or a rebate on any future purchases made through TicketsNow.com equaling 18.5 percent of the total transaction. The settlement still requires final approval by a judge. Another provision of the proposed settlement involves Ticketmaster offering disclosure on an interstitial page when users are directed there from Ticketmaster. The proposed disclosure:

"You are leaving the Ticketmaster.com website and linking with TicketsNow.com, a ticket resale marketplace. Tickets on our affiliate site, TicketsNow.com are at "market value" and often exceed the face value of the ticket. For more information about TicketNow, visit the FAQ page on TicketsNow.com."

We spoke with a few people who either missed out or paid extra for Springsteen tickets when he was in town in 2009. One ticket buyer remembers the TicketsNow.com price being about $70 more, and he was logging in at 10 a.m., right after tickets went on sale. Another tells us that he thought the site had been hacked and decided not to purchase tickets online and instead rushed to a retail outlet.



Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music



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