Stubhub Antitrust Suit Against Warriors Dismissed

A judge has dismissed an antitrust lawsuit by online ticket marketplace StubHub accusing the Golden State Warriors and Ticketmaster LLC of illegally preventing fans from reselling tickets through any vendor other than Ticketmaster, the basketball team said.

San Francisco-based StubHub Inc., a division of eBay Inc., filed the lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco in March.

It alleged that the Warriors and Ticketmaster, which is based in Hollywood, violate federal and state antitrust laws and a state unfair competition law by punishing or threatening ticket holders who attempt to sell unneeded tickets through other companies.

The lawsuit said the Warriors and Ticketmaster have canceled or threatened to cancel future season subscriptions and the chance to buy post-season tickets of fans who choose to sell tickets through competing ticket exchanges.

U.S. District Court Judge Maxine Chesney dismissed the suit in its entirety, according to the Warriors.

David Kelly, the team’s general counsel and vice president of basketball legal affairs, said in a statement, “We are pleased with Judge Chesney’s ruling dismissing StubHub’s complaint.”

Kelly said, “We believe that the court correctly concluded that the antitrust laws do not prevent us from managing our ticket distribution process in a manner that ultimately protects and benefits our fans.”

The Warriors said their website offers fans a verified marketplace for all ticket needs, including official resale tickets from season ticket holders that are guaranteed by the team.

The Warriors said their ticket marketplace offers a safe and convenient way for fans to access all levels of tickets throughout the regular season and playoffs.

The team said that in contrast, there has been a 45 percent increase in the number of fans denied access to games at the Oracle Arena in Oakland this season compared to last season because of counterfeit tickets that are bought from non-verified third-party vendors.

The Warriors, who won the National Basketball Association Title last season and are still undefeated this season, said they have sold out 137 consecutive games and have a season ticket priority waiting list of more than 17,000 members.

StubHub’s suit asked for a court order barring the alleged practices and a financial award of triple the economic damage caused, as is permitted under antitrust law.

StubHub’s attorney couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News

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