LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A Los Angeles federal judge is expected to approve a proposed $16.5 million settlement of a lawsuit brought by Bruce Springsteen fans who claim Ticketmaster deceptively inflated the price of tickets by directing customers to its resale website, according to court papers obtained Friday.
The class-action complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against Ticketmaster two years ago by New York resident Ellen Diamond on behalf of 165,000 ticket buyers in 2008 and 2009.
The suit alleges the ticket giant conspired with its ticket-resale subsidiary, TicketsNow.com, to “corner or manipulate the market for event tickets and thereby cheat consumers out of millions of dollars.”
A spokeswoman for L.A.-based Ticketmaster said the company does not comment on pending legal issues.
Under terms of the settlement, Ticketmaster, now part of Live Nation Entertainment, will pay fans $10 or give them a discount of up to $18.50 to future events, according to court documents.
U.S. District Judge Audrey B. Collins is scheduled to formally approve the settlement on Oct. 31.
Since the lawsuit was filed, Ticketmaster.com customers are notified when they are redirected to a secondary site.
The lawsuit was filed on the heels of a furor that erupted when Springsteen fans complained to the New Jersey attorney general that they were steered by TicketMaster.com to TicketsNow.com, where tickets for Springsteen’s shows were being sold at many times face value.
Diamond claimed she initially attempted to buy tickets for a New York- area performance of Cirque du Soleil from TicketMaster.com, but was redirected to the TicketsNow.com website, where she was charged $385 for tickets that
would normally sell at face value for less than $100 a piece.