June 21, 2018 / 6:10 AM

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Ticketmaster Sues Scalping Site Higs Tickets, Alleges Use of Bots to Score Advantage


Anyone familiar with Ticketmaster.com might feel harassed by the processing charges tacked onto any given order. However Ticketmaster itself is feeling harassed by another ticket giant, Higs Tickets, and have filed a lawsuit against it. 

Higs, a Massachusetts-based website, makes its money by reselling tickets purchased at face value from Ticketmaster and similar venues. Of course, the tickets are sold at higher than face-value. The company is, like many similar entities, a glorified ticket scalper. 

Ticketmaster is suing, alleging that Higs violated the conditions of its terms of use. Namely, that it used nonhuman "bots" to buy passes for events, versus waiting in lines and competing for them as we human concert-goers have to do. Bots are programmed to request tickets the literal moment the passes are released, almost guaranteeing access for resellers. Higs may claim in court that it did no such thing, but it will struggle to come up with proof that it paid employees to put in nearly 350,000 reservation attempts within a 24-hour span. The site sets a limits on requests from one entity to 1000 per day. 

Part of the lawsuit states that Higs prevented "a fair opportunity to acquire the best available tickets for events," but of course Ticketmaster isn't doing it all in defense of us, the suffering fans. The suit also alleges that Higs lured customers away from Ticketmaster's own site through its sketchy practices (which in turn lost the latter advertising dollars as well). 

No number was given for the amount of money Ticketmaster aims to juice Higs for, but it does have established penalties in place for users that go above the limited 1000 requests a day. Ticketmaster charges $.25 per additional request. So for the epic day mentioned above, Higs faces a fine of $87,250. And there are plenty of days just like that. 

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