Bruce Springsteen meets High Frequency Trading

“In essence, the company was able to cut in front of thousands of fans and buy the best seats in the house, authorities said. Wiseguys allegedly sold the tickets at a steep mark-up to brokers, who in turn sold them at an even steeper price to fans, according to the 60-page indictment.”

Does this sound familiar? No, they are not talking about “flash orders” and how some people can see an order and act on it before the general public.  But the theory is the same.  Apparently, some really smart computer geeks and their Bulgarian computer programmer friend figured out a way to skip the line and purchase concert tickets before everybody else was able to.

It is still not yet known if the programmer had co-located his computer next to Ticketmaster’s main data center.  But their most likely defense is going to be that he “provided liquidity” to the ticket market.  They will probably also say “that anybody could have done what he did if they just invest in technology.”

Also, you are likely to hear them say that die-hard Springsteen fans who were trying to buy tickets online were “dinosaurs” and that if they really want to see the concert they should  “upgrade their technology”.  

“For the average consumer hoping to score seats at some of entertainment’s most popular events, “Tenths of a second could mean the difference between purchasing a seat in the first 10 rows of an event or not being able to see the event at all,” the indictment says.”

And here is a link to the full indictment: