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May 3, 2013

America accused of price gouging

Mexico's consumer watchdog agency, Profeco (its Spanish acronym), confirmed Friday that it is investigating charges that Club America has hiked ticket prices by as much as 800 percent for some seats for Saturday's FutMex match vs. Tigres at Mexico City's Azteca Stadium.

America, Tigres and Atlas are fighting for the top seed in the Liguilla (playoffs). Saturday night's America-Tigres match could decide first place.

Profeco said it was investigating the price increases after reports of some tickets going from 124 pesos ($10.25) to 1,171 pesos ($96) overnight, said Profeco official Jose Aguirre.

"They are ridiculous price increases from 100 pesos ($8)to 1,000 pesos ($82). That's ridiculous," said Tigres player Francisco Torres. "The fans are so passionate they are willing to buy them and my respect to those who do because it means they stick with us through good times and bad."

Teammate Luis García also spoke out. "America is within their right but it is an ugly gesture with respect to the fans," he said. "It goes against the show and football in general."

Profeco official Jesus Rangel said fines for price-gouging range from 600 pesos ($49) to 3.4 million pesos and that the agency would investigate.

America is accused of violating a consumer protection law that says that the ticket provider is required to inform and respect existing prices, but America officials say they asked for and received permission to bump up prices in the zone.

Mexican law also prohibits resale and price gouging by scalpers, or third parties.

Information from ESPNDeportes.com was used in this report.

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