eBay Withdraws Tickets for Live 8 Concert

eBay Inc. (search) said Tuesday it will stop posters from selling tickets for the Live 8 concert (search) on July 2.

Tickets for the much-sought-after show, intended to raise the profile of poverty in Africa, were being sold for inflated prices on eBay, angering concert organizer Bob Geldof (search). The musician urged a boycott of the auctioneer, accusing it of "sick profiteering."

eBay managing director Doug McCallum said the company had decided to take the tickets down.

"The bottom line is that we've listened carefully to our customers over the last few days. Overwhelmingly the voice is that they would like us to take down the listing, so we are going to do our best to do that," McCallum told Britain's ITV television.

More than 2 million people applied by text message for the 150,000 tickets to the concert in London's Hyde Park in what The Guinness Book of World Records said was the largest text-message lottery in history.

Tickets began appearing on eBay shortly after recipients began learning by text that they had been successful.

More than 100 pairs of tickets had been listed by early Tuesday and some had attracted bids of up to $1,800.

"It is completely against the interests of the poor. The people who are selling these tickets on Web sites are miserable wretches who are capitalizing on people's misery," Geldof said.

eBay said reselling charity concert tickets was not illegal under British law.

Geldof said eBay's decision to allow the listing of the tickets in the first place had been "a sort of example of corporate arrogance that it thought it could operate outside the morality of its audience."

"I am glad it's stopped and well done for taking them down but it was despicable and they should have thought about it before they did this," Geldof told Sky News.

The $5.4 million raised by the ticket lottery will go toward the Prince's Trust, a youth charity established by Prince Charles and to Help A London Child, which campaigns to improve children's mental health, as well as on materials for the concert.

Live 8 agreed to donate to the Prince's Trust in return for the cancellation of Party in the Park, the Prince's Trust's annual concert in Hyde Park.

Other Live 8 concerts on July 2 will be held in Paris, Berlin, Rome and Philadelphia.