Published January 13, 2015
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has demanded documents from five ticket-sales Web sites in an investigation into whether a quick sellout of a "Hannah Montana" concert violated scalping laws.
Venues for the 54-date tour by 14-year-old Miley Cyrus, the star of the Disney Channel show, sold out in as little as four minutes and scalpers are getting four to five times the face value, creating a torrent of complaints from frustrated parents. A single ticket for the show in Charlotte, N.C., sold for $2,565.
McDaniel issued a consumer alert Sept. 21 cautioning parents to research who was selling them the tickets before buying them. The Kansas City, Mo., City Council also has said it would look into the sales.
Gabe Holmstrom, a spokesman for McDaniel's office, said the attorney general's office is focusing on whether ticket brokers used computer software to manipulate ticket purchases and essentially cut in line on the Ticketmaster Web site to buy large quantities of tickets.
McDaniel is also investigating whether fictitious tickets are being listed on those sites just to determine whether consumers would buy tickets at higher prices.
McDaniel gave the companies 20 days to respond.
A spokeswoman for ticketliquidator.com, one of the Web sites targeted, said the company had no comment. McDaniel also demanded the documents from StubHub.com, a ticket-reselling subsidiary of eBay Inc.
Sean Pate, a spokesman for San Francisco-based StubHub, said the company would cooperate with McDaniel.
"What's often mistaken about our marketplace is that we procure and price tickets when, to the contrary, we simply provide a secure and managed online marketplace for those who wish to sell tickets they possess," Pate said.