StubHub Claims Warriors & Ticketmaster Conspired to Form a Monopoly
Over the weekend, online ticket resale marketer StubHub, filed an antitrust lawsuit in Federal Court against the NBA’s Golden State Warriors and Ticketmaster, alleging conspiracy to create a monopoly.
The Golden State Warriors have been very successful on the court as of late. This year, the team clinched a playoff spot for the third straight season and secured the first seed in the playoffs in the western conference. The team has also sold out 118 straight home games in addition to maxing out its season ticket membership. Warriors tickets are, needless to say, a hot commodity. To take advantage of their recent surge in popularity, the team took actions to restrict resale of season tickets to Ticketmaster’s platform, which StubHub cites as the basis for its lawsuit.
The complaint alleges that the Warriors are threatening season ticketholders to ensure any resale of their tickets goes through Ticketmaster’s platform. The team has allegedly threatened to revoke ticket privileges, deny first bid at playoff tickets, and refusal to invite ticket holders back next year if they are found to resell tickets with any other ticket vendor. StubHub claims this activity violates the Sherman Antitrust Act as it restrains trade in the secondary ticket resale market. Since 2012, Ticketmaster and the Warriors have been sharing resale market fees, creating a potential monopoly over the secondary market.
StubHub general counsel stated that an outcry from fans whose “hands are tied” has helped push the ticket reseller to initiate this lawsuit. Stub Hub claims that if the Warriors are allowed to control the resale of their tickets, and profit off it, other teams will do the same, leading to complete control over the amount fans will pay for tickets. Both Ticketmaster and The Golden State Warriors have refused to comment on the suit.