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Judge rules that ticket broker does not hold monopoly

Recently, a judge in a California federal court dismissed an antitrust lawsuit brought by the ticket brokerage firm StubHub against fellow broker Ticketmaster as well as the Golden State Warriors of the NBA. According to the lawsuit, the Warriors engaged in illegal actions by threatening to cancel season ticket subscriptions held by fans who sold their tickets through StubHub.

The lawsuit claimed that the arrangement between Ticketmaster and the Warriors violated the Sherman Antitrust Act in that the organization gave Ticketmaster a monopoly on NBA ticket sales in San Francisco. Ticketmaster has an agreement to act as the sole vendor of Warrior tickets.

However, in making her ruling, the judge said StubHub failed to demonstrate that in such cases, primary-market tickets and secondary-market tickets are not "reasonably interchangeable." She also stated that since the Warriors are the only primary source for the sale of their tickets, they have a natural monopoly that all entities have in regard to the sale of their own products.

As this case demonstrates, determining what constitutes unfair business practices can sometimes require a legal judgment for clarification. And whether you believe your economic opportunities are being stifled in a manner that is counter to the law, or if you are being accused of illegally impeding the opportunities of others, you will likely benefit from having legal representation.

And prior to even allowing your case to proceed to a court of law, it is imperative that you understand how trade laws may be interpreted by a judge. A Florida business litigation attorney could look at the details of your case and advise you on a course of action that may lead to your best possible outcome.

Source: Consumerist, "Court Throws Out StubHub's Lawsuit Against Ticketmaster, Golden State Warriors," Chris Morran, Nov. 9, 2015

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