Sale of Bruce Springsteen tickets on secondary sites before official release sparks probe

A similar incident provoked Prince to postpone releasing sales for his coming tour

Sale of Bruce Springsteen tickets on secondary sites before official release sparks probe

Niall Carson / PA

An investigation has been launched into how tickets for hotly-anticipated concerts are appearing on secondary-sale sites before they are officially released.

The New York Attorney General is responding to the appearance for upcoming Bruce Springsteen concerts which were being sold 'speculatively' on StubHub before tickets are released for sale to the general public.

Some tickets for New York shows which are due to go on sale on December 11th were being sold for as much as $5,000.

On Monday the office contacted both the eBay-owned website StubHub, as well as TicketNetwork and Vivid Seats, ordering that the Bruce Springsteen tickets be removed.

Executives from these companies have been asked to meet with investigators from New York's Internet bureau work to identify the sellers of these tickets, and to combat this growing phenomenon.

"Speculative tickets harm both consumers and the ticket industry," Assistant Attorney General for the Internet Bureau Jordan Adler wrote.

"In many cases, consumers who purchase a speculative ticket do not receive the seats that were advertised and paid for."

A recent letter from band managers and performers, including Coldplay wrote that, "the increasing industrial-scale abuse and insider exploitation of tickets for music, arts and sports events by ticket touts, and their online associates and facilitators."

All three ticket sites told Reuters that they are co-operating with authorities, and that they are committed to providing 100% guaranteed tickets to their customers.

Purple Rage

A similar incident prompted Prince to delay the release of tickets for his 'Piano & a Microphone.'

An online storm erupted when the tickets failed to show up on Ticketmaster when they were due to go on sale on November 13th.

The musician took aim at touts with the following tweet:

He followed this with a link to an article about tickets for the shows being advertised on secondary sales before the official release on the website Which?

U2's recent Dublin shows took on touts by using a 'ticketless' system - which did not issue physical ticket to concert goers.

Instead punters with standing tickets were required to produce the card that they used to buy their tickets, and their ID to gain entry to the venue.