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Judge Says Tickets.com May Collect, Use Information From Ticketmaster Online

August 17, 2000|From Bloomberg News

Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch Inc. can't stop another online seller of tickets from entering its Web site to collect basic information about upcoming events, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge Harry Hupp concluded that Ticketmaster Online, which is majority owned by Barry Diller's USA Networks Inc., has no right to exclude Tickets.com from using Ticketmaster Online's information on the price, time, date, and location of events. Hupp declined Ticketmaster Online's request for a preliminary injunction against Tickets.com.

Tickets.com is an online clearinghouse that provides information on where tickets to any event can be purchased. It sells tickets through its Web site and gives computer users details on where to buy tickets from other sources. Tickets.com uses software programs known as "Web crawlers" or "spiders" to gather information from Ticketmaster Online.

Hupp's decision in favor of Tickets.com contrasts with another reached by a federal judge in a similar case involving EBay Inc. In May, U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte granted EBay a preliminary injunction that prevents Internet search site Bidder's Edge from using EBay auction listings to help consumers compare prices.

Ticketmaster and Ticketmaster Online, which filed the lawsuit last year, haven't decided whether to appeal Hupp's ruling, said Ticketmaster's attorney, Robert Platt of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips in Los Angeles. No trial date has been set.

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