BOSTON (AP) – A month after the New England Patriots sued a ticket reseller, claiming it encourages fans to break a state anti-scalping law, the company has answered with its own lawsuit.

The counterclaim, filed in Suffolk Superior Court Wednesday by StubHub Inc., accuses the Patriots of attempted monopolization, conspiracy to restrain trade and unfair trade practices.

“The Patriots’ claims are misguided and their actions are intended to serve the Patriots at the expense of their fans. StubHub will continue to protect the fans’ rights by providing choice, access and safety and we believe we will ultimately prevail in these proceedings,” StubHub CEO Jeff Fluhr said in a statement. In late November, the Patriots sued the company, as well as two named people and 50 unnamed season ticket holders who allegedly resold their tickets on StubHub illegally. A rarely enforced scalping law in Massachusetts limits ticket reselling businesses to markups of $2 above face value, plus various service charges.

The Patriots were seeking three times the revenue brought in by StubHub and the other defendants and an injunction against further reselling of Patriots tickets on the StubHub Web site.

Daniel Goldberg, an attorney representing the Patriots, called StubHub’s countersuit “ridiculous.” He told The Boston Globe the whole point of an antiscalping law is to rein in ticket markups, while a monopoly would raise prices.

AP-ES-12-20-06 2005EST

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