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AOL buys into ticket-resale business

Company launches a marketplace for "secondary" passes to concerts, plays and other events, and lines up a new partner.

America Online has set up an online marketplace for the resale of tickets to sporting events, concerts and other shows, the company said Tuesday.

The service, called Ticket Marketplace, is accessible through AOLCityGuide.com. (Choose a city, then go to the "Ticket Center" tab and click "Ticket Marketplace.")

AOL has actually been selling "secondary" tickets for several months--but it has been doing so without a dedicated Web home. The company has been partnering with StubHub, which allows people to sell or buy tickets in a model similar to eBay's.

Also Tuesday, the Internet giant announced a new partner--TicketsNow.com. Inventories from TicketsNow, which buys tickets on the open market and resells them for a profit, will be available through AOL's service.

AOL's Ticket Center also offers "primary" tickets, through vendors such as Ticketmaster.

The company said its Ticket Center offers passes to 40,000 events, including concerts, plays and sporting events, at 6,000 venues.

"When we launched AOL's ticketing service four years ago," Scott Richman, general manager of AOL city guide, said in a statement, "we simplified the ticket-buying experience by bringing the inventories of all the major ticket services under one roof--something that had never been done before. With the launch of the Ticket Marketplace, we're taking it one step further by creating a centralized home for secondary tickets to provide a new level of customer convenience."

Reuters contributed to this report.