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Auction sites cancel sales of World Series tickets

Amazon.com and eBay cancel auctions of tickets to baseball's Subway Series to comply with New York state's anti-scalping laws.

World Series tickets may be getting too hot to handle on the Internet.

Amazon.com said Friday that it was searching for and canceling auctions of World Series tickets on its auction site because of New York's anti-scalping laws.

"We were notified that New York state law prohibits a lot of sales that were going on," said Eric Orpet, who leads Amazon's effort to monitor its auction listings for illegal and infringing items. "We felt it was a good idea to keep (the ticket auctions) off the site."

Similar auctions were canceled on eBay.

On eBay's site Friday, several auctions for the tickets had been canceled. In one, bidding reached $1,000 before it was canceled and the following notice was posted: "The item you requested (471791154) is invalid or no longer in our database. Please check the number and try again. If this message persists, the item has expired and is no longer available."

Fans desperate for tickets to the Subway Series between the New York Mets and the New York Yankees can still find them on Yahoo's auctions area. But the prices aren't cheap: bids have reached more than $2,000 for a pair of tickets.

The World Series is only the latest high-profile event for which sellers have turned to online auctions to sell tickets. This spring, dozens of ticket holders sold or attempted to sell tickets to the NCAA basketball tournament on eBay and other online auction sites.

New York state law prohibits the sale of tickets for $5 or 10 percent more than the face value of the ticket, whichever is greater, according to Kevin Ortiz, a spokesman for the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. Although Ortiz said that the department had not worked with eBay on the specific issue of sales of World Series tickets, he said that the department had been in contact with eBay in the past about other ticket sales.

"They are aware of the law," Ortiz said.

eBay and Yahoo representatives did not respond to calls on Friday.