Satisfied AMPAS quits Oscar-tix scalper suit

This article was corrected on October 29, 1992. A story about the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences dismissing its case against three ticketbrokers (Daily Variety, Oct. 28) should have said that the case was dismissed without prejudice.

Two months before it was to go to trial, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has dropped its suit against three ticket brokers accused of illegally selling Oscar tickets.

“We feel we have virtually eliminated the problem by acquainting our members with the situation,” said Bruce Davis, AMPAS executive director. “And since most of the ticketing agencies have already signed agreements to not sell the tickets , it became a situation where it would cost a lot more to see this through than it was worth.”

The suit was filed late last year after two ticket brokers, Good Time Tickets and Murray’s Tickets, refused to comply with the Academy’s cease-and-desist orders. About two dozen other ticketing agencies agreed to stop selling the tickets and signed agreements prohibiting future sales.

“The Academy had been very aggressive about this up until now,” noted Lawrence Segal, of Cooper, Epstein and Horowitz, who represents the two ticketers. A third ticketing agency, Al Brooks Theater Ticket Agency, has recently been included in the suit. “But now, for reasons I still don’t understand, they’ve elected to dismiss the case.”

Yet Davis said it came down to a simple matter of economics.

“This past year all three of these ticketing agencies sold less than two dozen tickets between them,” Davis said. “We think we can reduce that number to zero by educating our members.”

Ticket scalping for the Oscars has been ongoing for nearly two decades. After the lion’s share ofticket brokers agreed to stop selling the tickets last year, the Academy’s lawyers contended that the problem lay in the fact that Murray’s Tickets and Good Time were taking advantage of a monopoly.

On Tuesday, Davis said the Academy dismissed the case with prejudice. Meanwhile, all three ticketing agencies will still be selling tickets to the Oscars.

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