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AEG's Jackson Ticketing Furor

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — AEG scored a small legal victory when a judge issued an order preventing the promoter's erstwhile secondary ticket market partner Viagogo from selling tickets to Michael Jackson's forthcoming O2 dates to other secondary market brokers.

AEG had pacted with Viagogo to be its exclusive secondary ticket market partner and had reportedly released approximately 10% (1,700 a night) of the tickets to the concerts to Viagogo instead of selling them directly to fans. AEG CEO Randy Phillips told Billboard that the tickets comprised "only a small percentage of the house" and that the move was designed to give fans access to premium seats at prices driven by the market. Most of the premium tickets on Viagogo are being sold at £145 to £275 instead of the face values of £50 to £75.

Well, the move backfired on them and AEG was apparently dismayed to discover that Viagogo was offering the tickets AEG had provided to other secondary market brokers as part of discounted package deals.

"We went nuclear," Phillips told the Wall Street Journal, describing his reaction to seeing the email solicitation sent by Viagogo. "It was not our intent to sell to brokers [beyond Viagogo apparently]."

The move by AEG to provide tickets directly to secondary brokers would seem, on its face, to be an unusual one, particularly in light of the hue and cry raised against Ticketmaster when tickets to sold-out Bruce Springsteen concerts arrived almost immediately on Ticketmaster's secondary market affiliates, Ticketmaster has subsequently confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that they have facilitated managers and artists selling tickets through TicketsNow and that the site carries only higher-priced primary tickets instead of the fan ticket resale site is purports to be. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers