October 17, 2007, 12:00 AM

Brokers can’t cut in line to get tickets at Ticketmaster.com, judge rules

A federal judge in Los Angeles has barred RMG Technologies Inc. from developing and offering computer programs that enable ticket brokers to get tickets from Ticketmaster.com before the general public.

A federal judge in Los Angeles has barred RMG Technologies Inc. from developing and offering computer programs that enable ticket brokers to get tickets from Ticketmaster.com before the general public.

Ticketmaster, a unit of IAC/InteractiveCorp, sued Pittsburgh-based RMG in August to prevent it from providing ticket brokers with software that lets them obtain large quantities of tickets that they can then resell. The software prevents many of Ticketmaster’s direct customers from having access to tickets at popular events like rock concerts where demand far exceeds supply, Ticketmaster contends.

“We will not allow others to illegally divert tickets away from fans,” says Ticketmaster CEO Sean Moriarty. “We recognize and respect the necessity and reality of a vibrant resale market, but we will not tolerate those who seek an unfair advantage through the use of automated programs."

U.S. District Court Judge Audrey Collins this week issued a preliminary injunction against RMG Technologies, barring it from using or providing its software to acquire tickets from Ticketmaster.com while awaiting a trial slated for next year.

"Ticketmaster is committed to ensuring that consumers have fair and equitable access to tickets,” Moriarty said after the ruling. “Not only are we doing everything possible to create a secure and positive experience for ticket purchasers, we are making sure that the public knows it can come to the Ticketmaster web site and access the best available seats at the prices set by the event provider.

Ed Weiss, general counsel of Ticketmaster and a former federal prosecutor, says Ticketmaster will continue to fight the use of technology that puts ordinary consumers at a disadvantage. "Anyone using these programs and any company supplying them should know that we and the entire live entertainment industry will not stand for it,” Weiss says. “We fully support the legitimate reselling of tickets, but those who refuse to follow the rules will be hearing from us."

Efforts to reach RMG for comment were unsuccessful.

IAC/InteractiveCorp is No. 26 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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