3/8/2011 2:38:00 PM,
Jeff D. Gorman
(CN) - StubHub, a website dedicated to ticket resales, violated anti-scalping laws by selling Hannah Montana concert tickets above their face value, the North Carolina Business Court ruled.
Jeffrey and Lisa Hill visited the site for tickets to a 2007 concert at the Greensboro Coliseum in Guilford County, featuring Miley Cyrus performing as her Disney Channel alter ego, Hannah Montana.
After the concert sold out, the Hills went on StubHub and bought four tickets at $149 per ticket, though each ticket had a face value of just $56. Compounded by a 10 percent service fee, the Hills paid a total of $596.
"Their transaction, if conducted in front of the Greensboro Coliseum, would have violated North Carolina's anti-scalping statute," Judge Ben Tennille wrote on behalf of the appeals court.
The Hills filed a class-action lawsuit against the San Francisco-based StubHub and Massachusetts resident Justin Holohan, who was selling the tickets.
StubHub claimed immunity under the Communications Decency Act, but the business court ruled against the company.
"StubHub did not set the price at which Mrs. Hill purchased the tickets," Tennille wrote. "It did not enter the price in the blank on its website. It used all the right disclaimers and warnings in its user agreement and on its website. However, its actions speak louder than its words."
"It provided, for its own profit, a means by which Mr. Holohan and other sellers ... could scalp tickets in a manner which would have violated North Carolina law if done in person and not by use of the Internet," the ruling states.
The court did not rule on the class claim, but found there was no reason to delay judgment on the Hills' individual claims.