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The Rise of the BOTS (Act)

  • The FTC reached settlements with ticket brokers Concert Specials, Inc., Just In Time Tickets, Inc., and Cartisim Corp., and related individuals, to resolve allegations that they used automated software to illegally buy large quantities of tickets for popular events in violation of the Better Online Ticket Sales (“BOTS”) Act. These are the first cases to be brought under the BOTS Act, which gives the FTC the authority to take enforcement action against the use of bots or other means to circumvent limits on online ticket purchases.
  • The complaints against Concert Specials, Just In Time, and Cartisim alleged that defendants purchased more than 150,000 tickets to concerts and sporting events using automated software that masked their IP addresses and that they used hundreds of fictitious Ticketmaster accounts and credit cards to circumvent the event ticket limits. Defendants later resold the tickets for millions of dollars in revenue.
  • Under the terms of the stipulated orders, among other things, all three are subject to civil penalties, large percentages of which are suspended based on defendants’ inability to pay. Concert Specials is subject to a $16 million civil penalty, of which it will pay approximately $1.57 million. Just In Time is subject to a $11.2 million civil penalty, of which it will pay approximately $1.64 million. Cartisim is subject to a $4.4 million civil penalty, of which it will pay approximately $500,000.