StubHub Slapped With $16.3 Million Jury Verdict in TicketManager Litigation

StubHub TicketManager
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StubHub TicketManager
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Photo Credit: TicketManager

TicketManager has won a $16 million jury verdict against StubHub in a trial accusing the latter of breach of contract and more.

StubHub has been hit with a $16.3 million jury verdict in California state court, concluding its month-long trial against Spotlight Ticket Management, better known as TicketManager. TicketManager had sued StubHub for breach of contract, tortious interference with contract, and prospective economic advantage. The jury found in TicketManager’s favor on all three counts, awarding the company the full commission amount it was owed.

“The Spotlight team could not be more pleased with this result. This is a victory for Spotlight, for affiliate partners more broadly, and for ticket purchaser across the country, and vindicates Spotlight after years of litigation,” said Spotlight CEO and co-founder Tony Knopp.

Founded by three former StubHub employees in 2007, Spotlight Ticket Management was receiving significant commissions from StubHub within the first six years. Spotlight’s TicketManager helps corporate holders of live event tickets manage their inventory more efficiently; StubHub was gaining considerable sales driven through TicketManager’s inventory management.

TicketManager began its relationship with American Express in 2014, which was renewed two years later with an expansion into secondary markets. This included StubHub and the global Amex e-Hub platform, making tickets more widely available to Amex cardholders.

StubHub had agreed to pay TicketManager 7% commission on all purchases sent their way — but often failed to pay, blaming “software tracking issues” and making “other excuses.”

Hunton Andrews Kurth’s National Trial Team (HAK), led by Harry Manion with Hunton partner Christopher Pardo and their litigation team, successfully represented Spotlight in the trial in which StubHub stood accused of breach of contract. Their legal team proved to the jury that StubHub senior management concocted and executed a plan to provide false information about TicketManager to Amex, with the goal of disrupting the relationship between the two companies.

“There was more than enough money to go around, but StubHub wanted it all,” said attorney Jake Struck during Spotlight’s closing argument.

“We thank the Hunton Andrews Kurth litigation team, particularly our long-time trusted counsel Chris Pardo, to whom we owe this victory, as well as Jake Struck, Larry DeMeo and lead trial counsel, Harry Manion, chair of Hunton Andrews Kurth’s National Trial Team,” concluded Knopp.

The Boston-based HAK’s trial team also included Washington DC-based associates Katherine P. Sandberg and Liz England, as well as National Trial Team lead paralegal Amanda Aucoin. Pardo, Sandberg, and England led Spotlight’s pre-trial litigation team, which included another 15-plus associates.