Senate takes aim at ‘bots’ that snap up concert seats

Bruce Springsteen
FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, file photo, Bruce Springsteen performs at the 9th Annual Stand Up For Heroes event at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on in New York. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is looking into whether "speculative" ticket listings for Springsteen's 2016 tour on ticket resale sites constitute deceptive advertising. Schneiderman sent letters Monday, Dec. 7, to StubHub, TicketNetwork and Vivid Seats asking about the practice of offering seats on secondary markets when the seller may not possess the tickets. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate is cracking down on computer software used by ticket brokers to snap up tickets to concerts and shows.

Senators passed legislation by voice vote Wednesday that would make using the software an “unfair and deceptive practice” under the Federal Trade Commission Act and allow the FTC to pursue those cases. The House passed similar legislation in September, but the bills are not identical so the Senate legislation now moves to the House.

The so-called “bots” rapidly purchase as many tickets as possible for resale at significant markups. They are one of the reasons why tickets to a Bruce Springsteen concert or “Hamilton” performance can sell out in just a few minutes.

Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran sponsored the bill. He says it takes aim at artificially inflated prices.

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