StubHub's Antitrust Lawsuit Against Warriors Dismissed: Details, Reaction

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2015

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 21: The Golden State Warriors logo before a game against the Houston Rockets in Game Two of the Western Conference Finals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs on May 21, 2015 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Ticket reseller StubHub brought an antitrust lawsuit against the Golden State Warriors and Ticketmaster, but it was reportedly dismissed Thursday.

According to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com, U.S. District Judge Maxine M. Chesney decided StubHub’s arguments “were unfounded.”   

The crux of StubHub’s lawsuit stated the Warriors and Ticketmaster “conspired to fix the resale marketplace” and that the team “created illegal market conditions by telling its season-ticket holders to resell their tickets only through Ticketmaster and marketing that buying in any other venue was unsafe,” per Rovell.

Chesney pointed out there is no legal precedent that the primary and resale markets are two separate entities tied together. She also discussed the Warriors’ control over their product, per Rovell: “The native monopoly every manufacturer has in the production and sale of its own product cannot be the basis for antitrust liability.” 

Ticketmaster has been the NBA’s exclusive resale partner since 2012. StubHub said sales for the Warriors games after Ticketmaster signed that deal dropped by 45 percent the next year, although Mike Rosenberg of the San Jose Mercury News highlighted the fact the ticket prices are much higher for the Warriors than other local professional sports teams:

Rovell did acknowledge that some industry observers wanted this case to go to trial so there was finally a test for whether the fan or team “owns the right to the ticket and whether the teams can legally restrict fans to venues for reselling their seats.”

If StubHub plans on filing an amended complaint, it has until the end of November.

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