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Division of Consumer Affairs
Press Release

Attorney General
Anne Milgram
Division of Consumer Affairs, Director
David Szuchman
   
For Immediate Release:
May 27, 2009
For Further Information Contact:
Jeff Lamm, 973-504-6327
 
Attorney General Milgram Files Suit in Response to Deceptive Sales of Springsteen Concert Tickets Before Initial Public Sales Date

NEWARK – Attorney General Anne Milgram today filed suit against three ticket sellers for allegedly violating the state’s Consumer Fraud Act and Advertising Regulations by advertising and selling tickets to three upcoming Bruce Springsteen concerts at Giants Stadium before the tickets are available for sale.

Undercover investigators from the Division of Consumer Affairs yesterday purchased tickets offered for sale by Select-A-Ticket, Inc., Orbitz Worldwide, Inc., and TicketNetwork, Inc. even though the companies did not possess the tickets, could not provide them at the time of sale, and were not available for purchase until June 1, 2009.

Some tickets offered by Orbitz Worldwide and TicketNetwork are for seats which do not physically exist within Giants Stadium, the lawsuit charges.

“Advertising and selling tickets before they are made available for initial purchase by the public is an outrageous practice. It is fraud to offer to sell a product that one does not possess, and may never possess, and I am committed to ending this deceptive practice,” Attorney General Milgram said.

Select-A-Ticket is based in Riverdale, N.J. and operates a retail location in the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, N.J. The company, which is owned and operated by Thomas Patania, also maintains a web site to transact ticket sales.

Orbitz Worldwide, Inc., which does business as cheaptickets.com, is based in Chicago. TicketNetwork, Inc. is based in Connecticut. Orbitz and TicketNetwork are believed to be partners in a joint venture to advertise and resell tickets to events in New Jersey.

The state’s lawsuits seek injunctive relief to enjoin the three companies from advertising and selling tickets to consumers without having the tickets in their possession. Tickets for the three Giants Stadium concerts, scheduled for September 30 and October 2 and 3, will initially go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. on June 1. The state also seeks to have restitution paid to affected consumers and the assessment of civil penalties.

The state also wants to revoke or suspend the ticket broker license held by Select-A-Ticket, Inc.

“We’ve taken action -- again -- against this illegal practice of advertising and selling tickets before they go on sale to the general public. We want a level playing field, where all consumers have a fair and equal opportunity to buy tickets to concerts. Our investigation of the concert industry and its practices is continuing, as these lawsuits illustrate,” said David Szuchman, Consumer Affairs Director.

The Office of the Attorney General and the Division of Consumer Affairs in February reached an agreement with Ticketmaster regarding tickets being offered for sale on the company’s TicketsNow resale site following an investigation into the availability of tickets to Springsteen concerts held last week at the Izod Center. The company agreed to change its business practices under terms of that settlement, agreeing not to allow ticket resales on its TicketsNow site before tickets go on sale on its Ticketmaster site.

Consumers may file complaints with the Division online at http://www.njConsumerAffairs.gov/ocp/ocpform.htm or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within N.J.) or 973-504-6200.

Deputy Attorney General David M. Puteska is representing the state in this matter. The lawsuits were filed in State Superior Court in Essex County.

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