Cavs, Ticketmaster Battle Over Scalping Rights

In a battle for first place in the Who Can Gouge Their Customers More Division, the Cleveland Cavaliers yesterday sued Ticketmaster -- traded on the New York Stock Exchange as ANTI-CHRIST -- alleging "anti-competitive and monopolistic practices." At issue is the Cavs' Flash Seat program -- aka "scalping operation" -- which allows ticketholders to resell unused ducats through the team. Content no longer to gouge you for $30 nosebleed seats and $6 beers, the franchise is hoping to horn in on the scalping business, formerly operated by Guys on the Sidewalk. But the team faces a formidable foe in Ticketmaster, a company with a storied history of ripping off its customers. For example, four tickets to the Indians sold through Ticketmaster will run you $22.85 in "convenience charges," "order processing charges," and "international will call" charges. Though scientists have spent years attempting to decipher what these fees actually mean, they're believed to stem from the Latin phrase, "Hand over the money or we shoot the kid." According to the suit, Ticketmaster's contract precludes individual teams from entering the scalping market, since it's trying to monopolize that market itself. The Cavs believe this is way unfair. Ticketmaster responded by saying, "What did they expect when they got into business with people like us?" Reached in Heaven, a spokesman for God declined comment, other that to say both parties deserved each other. -- Pete Kotz
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