CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers filed a federal lawsuit
against Ticketmaster Inc. on Monday, accusing the broker of acting
as a monopoly.
The Cavaliers allege in the lawsuit that Ticketmaster is trying
to prevent the team's Flash Seats secondary-ticketing Web site from
competing with the ticketing giant.
Flash Seats provides season ticket holders a way to sell and
transfer seats electronically -- a system that is superior to
Ticketmaster's TeamExchange program, the lawsuit says.
"Ticketmaster is using its market power to exclude competition
and inhibit innovation," said Sam Gerace, chief executive officer
of Flash Seats. "I can only conclude they're threatened by Flash
The Cavaliers and Flash Seats contend that Ticketmaster is
coercively seeking to enforce its primary-ticketing contract with
the Cavaliers to exclude Flash Seats, saying that the contract
prohibits the team from doing business with Flash Seats.
Ticketmaster is trying to force the Cavaliers to use
Ticketmaster's TeamExchange system, the lawsuit claims. The company
sent a letter to Cavaliers president Len Komoroski in February
demanding the team suspend use of Flash Seats and stop trying to
sell the system to other teams, claiming breach of contract.
Ticketmaster sued the Cavaliers and Flash Seats earlier this
month in U.S. District Court in California asking the court to rule
that it has exclusive rights to handle all the team's ticket sales.
West Hollywood, Calif.-based Ticketmaster, a unit of New
York-based IAC/InterActiveCorp., is the largest ticket broker in
the world. A phone message left for spokesman Ed Stewart was not
The Cavaliers are owned by Dan Gilbert, who is also the
principal owner of Flash Seats.