US basketball: Cleveland Cavaliers and partner Flash Seats sue Ticketmaster

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The U.S. NBA team the Cleveland Cavaliers and its partner Flash Seats filed a federal lawsuit on Monday in Ohio against leading ticket seller Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster is being accused of violating anti-trust laws. According to TicketNews.com, Flash Seats provides an electronic, paperless ticketing system to Cavaliers season ticket holders, and the lawsuit is moving “to stop Ticketmaster’s ongoing campaign to utilize its substantial market power in ticketing service to exclude actual and potential competition.”

The Cavs and Flash Seats allege that Ticketmaster is “coercively seeking to enforce its primary-ticketing contracts" (relating to the direct sale of tickets to the public) with the Cavaliers and other customers, by allegedly trying to make the Cavs “use only Ticketmaster’s own secondary-ticketing program (relating to the resale of tickets) or none at all.”

Ticketmaster President and CEO Sean Moriarty, in response to the lawsuit filed Monday by the Cleveland Cavaliers and Flash Seats, said the Cavs “breached their contract” with Ticketmaster when the team turned to Flash Seats for the handling of secondary ticket sales.

“The Cavaliers' and Flash Seats' lawsuit aims to deflect attention from the fact that the Cavaliers and Ticketmaster fairly negotiated a contract for Ticketmaster to serve as the team’s exclusive primary and secondary ticketing company,” Moriarty said in a prepared statement.

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