TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: EBay Ends Live 8 Ticket Sale After Geldof Jibe

EBay Ends Live 8 Ticket Sale After Geldof Jibe

Lisa Minter (
Tue, 14 Jun 2005 14:35:47 -0500

By Kate Holton

Internet auction site eBay ended a sale of free Live 8 tickets on
Tuesday after Bob Geldof, the organizer of the awareness-raising
concerts, labeled the site an "electronic pimp" and urged people to
swamp it.

Tickets to the star-studded London show, which aims to pressure world
leaders into fighting poverty in Africa, were given away to the
winners of a text lottery. But they immediately started appearing on
eBay for hundreds of pounds.

Geldof criticized the site and urged people to swamp it with bogus
offers of tickets or massively inflated bids.

"What I would ask you to do tonight is to get on eBay and mess up the
system," he told Sky News.

"Everyone should go on and pretend they have got tickets for Live 8
... otherwise go on and bid ridiculous amounts of money for the
tickets already on the site," said the feisty Irish rocker.

His appeal did not go unheeded. Within minutes bids which had been
running in the hundreds of pounds surged to 10 million pounds.

eBay, which earlier on Tuesday rejected Geldof's call to end the sale
saying there was nothing illegal about it, capitulated.

"eBay has decided to not allow the resale of Live 8 tickets on the
site," a spokesman told Reuters.

"We have listened to eBay's community of users and the message has
been clear -- that they do not want the tickets to be sold on the
site. Once we are made aware of any Live 8 tickets being resold they
will be taken down," he added.

Geldof organized the July 2 concert 20 years after his Live Aid
sensation which raised money to help the starving in Ethiopia.

Rather than raise money, the 2005 concert aims to raise the profile of
African poverty and influence leaders of the G8 group of
industrialized nations who meet in Scotland next month.

Four other concerts will be held in Paris, Rome, Berlin and
Philadelphia on the same day and a sixth on July 6 in Edinburgh -- the
day the two-day G8 summit starts in nearby Gleneagles.

More than 2 million text messages were sent by people hoping to get
tickets in the draw.

Performers for the London concert include a reformed Pink Floyd, U2,
Paul McCartney, Coldplay, Madonna and REM.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Here in the USA, we Episcopalians had
been giving money to help with the various social problems and
poverty in Africa; not through concert ticket sales or anything like
that -- more just get in pocket, take out money and hand it over, and
as a church, Episcopalians have _almost_ as much money as Catholics,
coming from the same historical background, etc. But the Africans said
"we do not want your money any longer" and asked us to quit giving it,
which we did. Its something to do with our beliefs with which they
disagree. PAT]

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