New Jersey is probably the last place Ticketmaster wanted trouble selling seats to a Bruce Springsteen show.
Nearly 2,200 people complained to the state this month after they encountered problems trying to buy tickets to see the Garden State's favorite son at the Meadowlands.
Ticketmaster's Web site told some fans that no tickets were available but allowed them to link to TicketsNow.com, a wholly owned subsidiary that sold seats at a substantially higher price.
The Boss said he was "furious" at Ticketmaster and called its practice of redirecting customers to TicketsNow "a pure conflict of interest."
Ticketmaster settled the complaints yesterday by entering an agreement with the state Attorney General's Office to change several business practices, reimburse some fans, and provide tickets to others.
The settlement, which applies nationwide, "places a wall" between Ticketmaster and TicketsNow for at least a year. Ticketmaster agreed not to have any Internet online advertising that leads customers searching for Ticketmaster to TicketsNow.
TicketsNow won't be allowed to offer tickets for sale until after they are available on the Ticketmaster site.
In a statement, Ticketmaster admitted no liability. The agreement merely formalizes changes made "in the aftermath of software and other issues" that occurred during the Feb. 2 sale of the Springsteen tickets, the company said.
Customers attempted to buy tickets to May 21 and 23 shows at the Izod Center at the Meadowlands, part of Springsteen's "Waiting on a Dream Tour."
Some said their credit cards were charged but the transactions weren't completed because of technical problems. Ticketmaster agreed to supply those customers with tickets.
Those who bought premium-priced tickets on TicketsNow will be reimbursed the difference in price.
Also, 1,000 fans whose attempts to buy tickets were blocked by the Ticketmaster site will participate in a random drawing for a chance to buy two tickets each.
Those who registered complaints but are not chosen in the drawing will get a $100 Ticketmaster gift certificate and first dibs on future Springsteen shows.
Attorney General Anne Milgram thanked Springsteen yesterday for his "efforts to hammer out this agreement."
"He was as outraged as anyone over the circumstances surrounding the sale of tickets to his concerts," she said.