Update: Eventbrite has released the following statement to Amplify.
It’s a competitive industry, and competing fairly is of critical importance and central to our ethics at Eventbrite. We maintain that we have not engaged in any wrongdoing or inappropriate conduct. We dispute Wantickets’ allegations and intend to defend our position.
After months of legal wrangling, Wantickets has filed a lawsuit against Eventbrite in New York court, accusing the company of aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference.
The lawsuit stems from a failed acquisition of Wantickets by Eventbrite earlier this year. After sales talks collapsed, Wantickets was sold to a new owner and the company’s new CEO Joe Schnair alleges that Wantickets CEO Diego Carlin and President had begun working for Eventbrite while still employed at Wantickets and helped divert several clients to Eventbrite.
“While the transaction was under consideration — and with no assurance the deal would actually close — Mr. Schurr and Mr. Carlin engaged in a sustained campaign to divert business from their employer (Wantickets) to their potential corporate acquirer (Eventbrite), in flagrant violation of their fiduciary duties,” attorney Charles Michael wrote in a civil complaint. “Among other misdeeds, they arranged for a series of meetings and calls to introduce Eventbrite to actual or potential clients of Wantickets and to tout the advantages of Eventbrite. This conduct all but guaranteed that the actual and potential clients would lose interest in Wantickets, regardless of whether the Eventbrite transaction closed, while giving Eventbrite the benefit of the contemplated transaction for free.”
Eventbrite “was eager to take advantage of the disloyalty of Mr. Schurr and Mr. Carlin,” the suit alleges. “Eventbrite pitched itself to potential clients via the introductions from Mr. Schurr and/or Mr. Carlin, knowing that Mr. Schurr and Mr. Carlin were still employees of Wantickets and that Mr. Schurr’s and Mr. Carlin’s diversion of business violated their duties to Wantickets. Eventbrite even paid for Mr. Schurr to take a business trip to Ibiza, Spain so that he could develop business for Eventbrite.”
Earlier this month, a New York judge upheld a preliminary injunction against Carlin and Schurr, preventing them from soliciting Wantickets clients or former Wantickets employees.