Local News

NC court: StubHub ticket fees not illegal

Posted March 6, 2012 11:00 a.m. EST

Is StubHub scalping?

— The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that online ticket broker StubHub can charge a fee for its service without violating a state anti-scalping law.

Jeffrey and Lisa Hill of Greensboro sued StubHub after learning that they paid $93 above face value, as well as a 10 percent service fee, for tickets to a sold-out Hannah Montana concert in 2007.

At the time, a North Carolina consumer protection law prohibited scalping and capped service fees at $3 per ticket, so the Hills accused the California-based company of deceptive and unfair trade practices.

A Guilford County judge ruled in the couple's favor, saying that StubHub helped set the prices sellers charge for their tickets, but the appeals court unanimously ruled that the decision should be overturned.

Judges Sam Ervin IV, Cheri Beasley and Cressie Thigpen Jr. ruled that federal law provides immunity for StubHub since it only facilitates the sale of tickets and doesn't act as an agent for the sellers. Therefore, they ruled, the company cannot be limited to $3 per ticket for its services since its actions are separate from the ticket prices charged by the sellers.

The Hills settled out of court with the Massachusetts man who sold them the concert tickets through StubHub.