US House passes TICKET Act to force event pricing transparency

U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed A bill that could provide at least some accountability for Ticketmaster and other live event sellers. NBC News reports TICKET Bill (not to be confused with Senate bill separate account with the same attempted acronym) would have required ticket sellers to list the total cost of admission — including all fees — to buyers in advance.

In addition to a full price breakdown, the bill would require sellers to indicate whether tickets are currently in their possession. It will also ban deceptive websites from secondary sellers and force sellers to refund tickets for canceled events. The bill does not include price increases or overcharges.

It now moves to the Senate, which has introduced two separate case reform bills: another TICKET Act and a bipartisan one The First Act of the Fans. The latter was introduced in December 2016 to strengthen the BOTS Act It prohibits the use of bots to purchase ticketsA practice that Taylor Swift fans (among others) can attest to is still very common.

Reform of the ticketing industry has become a political point-scoring item in late 2022 The ticket master’s Taylor Swift fiasco. The service, owned by Live Nation, an industry stalwart, has melted down as millions of fans battled “a staggering number” of bots. Ticketmaster said pre-sale codes reached 1.5 million fans, but 14 million (including those pesky bots) tried to buy tickets.

Live Nation President and CFO Joe Berchtold He testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee In January 2023, he passed the buck to Congress to fix the mess. He suggested the government strengthen the BOTS Act, which one of the Senate bills will try to do. During the hearing, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) accused the company of pointing the finger at everyone but himself, pinning the executive for avoiding blame.

Representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) released a joint statement Wednesday on the House TICKET Act. “This consensus legislation will end deceptive ticketing practices that frustrate consumers who simply want to enjoy a concert, show or sporting event by restoring fairness and transparency to the ticketing market,” the group wrote. “After years of two-way work, we will now be able to enhance the customer experience of buying event tickets online. We look forward to continuing to work together to encourage swift Senate passage so we can send the legislation to the President’s desk for signature.”

Artists to the public supporting legislation to combat ticket industry failures includes (among others) Billie Eilish, Lorde, Green Day, Cyndi Lauper, Jason Mraz and Dave Matthews. “We stand together to say that the current system is broken: predatory sellers and secondary platforms engage in deceptive ticket sales to inflate ticket prices and deprive fans of the chance to see their favorite artists at a fair price,” he said. 250 musicians sing.

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