NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) Ticket reselling platform TicketNetwork, under the threat of a multimillion-dollar fine, says it is preparing to go to battle with new York’s new attorney general.
Barbara Underwood, who took over for disgraced New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in May, is continuing her predecessor’s crusade against secondary ticketing companies. The campaign follows a bill passed this summer by the New York state assembly that would force ticket resellers to disclose if they have or do not have the actual tickets in inventory when selling them.
TicketNetwork claims it has been threatened with a massive fine to avoid facing a civl action from Underwood’s office, according to IQ magazine.
“According to the NYAG’s assertions, any time a seller offers a ticket for sale that the seller does not yet own, but will procure after an order is placed, the seller has automatically committed a fraudulent and unlawful act,” the company said in a statement, “and TicketNetwork is allegedly responsible for this purportedly illegal conduct because it provides a marketplace through which such ticket offers are made.”
TicketNetwork said it was based on an “incorrect interpretation of state and federal [US] law”, with the company citing the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996 – which “directs that providers of online interactive services are not responsible for the conduct of the independent sellers and buyers that use their web-based marketplaces.”
TicketNetwork COO Mike Honeyman added, “We have been forced to seek court protection in response to the New York attorney-general’s baseless claims and threats against TicketNetwork. The NYAG knows full well that we have immunity under the Communications Decency Act of 1996 and that New York state laws and administrative guidance permit these types of sales.
“Despite that, the NYAG appears intent to press on with this course of action. Online commerce would be severely negatively impacted, and consumers would see a decrease in competition and an increase in costs if the protections afforded to online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and innumerable others were selectively ignored.
“We are asking the court to reaffirm that online marketplaces are protected under federal law, as it is apparent that the NYAG’s office needs a reminder of this longstanding principle. In addition, given the recently enacted New York law, we are confident the curt will determine that we are in full compliance with the law.”