DA: No Ticketmaster Complaint, No Scalping Probe
By Phil Williams
Chief Investigative Reporter
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Prosecutors will not open an investigation into ticket scalpers -- and their use of illegal computer software to grab tickets before fans -- because Ticketmaster is not complaining.
That's what a legislative committee heard Tuesday as Ticketmaster and its allies argued they need new laws to crack down on scalpers.
Ticketmaster critic Jon Potter told lawmakers that he filed a complaint after NewsChannel 5 Investigates looked into a recent Eric Church show at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.
Church's manager Fielding Logan showed us evidence from Ticketmaster itself, indicating it knows when those illegal bots were used. The company even had data showing the exact number of tickets purchased with bots during certain time periods.
Logan showed the legislative committee a chart prepared by NewsChannel 5 from Ticketmaster's data, indicating that most of the seats in front of the stage were purchased by professional ticket scalpers.
Use of those software bots is already a crime in Tennessee.
"If they know, why aren't they bringing that evidence to the attorney general or the district attorney so these folks can be prosecuted?" Potter said after the hearing.
After Potter filed his complaint, a Davidson County assistant DA replied that "evidence was not found to corroborate these allegations, nor has the Tennessee General Assembly's intended victim of this statute (i.e. Ticketmaster) come forward with a criminal complaint."
Potter heads the Fan Freedom Project, a group funded by ticket reseller StubHub.
"Because Ticketmaster didn't complain about the seating chart that Fielding Logan showed you, he closed the investigation," Potter told lawmakers. "Something is wrong with that."
Critics also question, if Ticketmaster can track those illegal purchases, why it doesn't just block them.
The company has refused NewsChannel 5's requests to sit down and answer those kinds of questions.
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