Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Here's your Premium

So it's now legal to set up a commonly owned corporation and funnel tickets to that corporation for sale at a higher price than face value. That's what the Cubs did last year through Premium Ticket Services and what a judge declared yesterday to be kosher.

Now, there's been a lot of hot air blowing about how this should be illegal because Premium did not pay for the tickets upfront. That's irrelevant. There is such a thing as trade credit. The Cubs could offer such credit to any company for purchasing their inventory of tickets.

What the bigger issue is, and what the judge seemed to ignore (I haven't read the full decision), is that how can one be a legal scalper if one receives preferential treatment by purchasing sequestered tickets? The decision needs to be combed to see if Judge Sophia Hall tested what the Cubs did with their tickets or tested Premium to see if they qualified as a ticket broker.

My bet? She only tested the transaction. And that transaction sure seems to be legal. Not so sure about Premium as a broker.

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