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The Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing bill would regulate both the primary and secondary markets on a federal level
By Jon Chapple on 25 May 2016
The Boss Act, a proposed piece of legislation to better regulate the US event ticketing market, received a positive reception when it went before the US House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee yesterday.
The bill (an acronym for Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing), inspired by prominent anti-touting activist Bruce ‘The Boss’ Springsteen, is sponsored by New Jersey Democrat Bill Pascrell. Its provisions, according to Pascrell’s website, include:
“The [Federal Trade] Commission supports the goal of [the Boss Act], said FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez, “which would require more transparency in ticket sales.” She also recommended further action on the bill, as well as the sister Bots (Better Online Ticket Sales) Act, which specifically targets ticket bots.
“The Boss Act is necessary would bring transparency and a set of parameters to a multi-billion-dollar industry running amok”
National Consumers League vice-president John Breyault was also supportive. The Boss Act, he said, “offers comprehensive solutions that, collectively, will significantly improve fans’ ticket buying experiences. By requiring greater transparency in the primary ticketing market, prohibiting egregious broker practices like undisclosed speculative ticketing,and limiting the ability of connected insiders to surreptitiously divert tickets to the secondary market, the Boss Act would lead to beneficial reforms in the ticketing marketplace.”
Pascrell introduced the first version of the bill in 2009 after discovering TicketsNow, a subsidiary of Ticketmaster, had oversold tickets for Springsteen concerts in New Jersey and Washington, DC.
“The ticket industry is full of opaque practices that game the consumer, the casual fan,” he said yesterday. “That’s why the Boss Act is necessary. It would bring transparency and a set of parameters to a multi-billion-dollar industry running amok.”
Last month New York attorney-general Eric Schneiderman, another prominent political critic of ticketing companies, fined several bot-using brokers $2.7 million and announced the launch of a bill that would make using ticket-buying software a criminal offence.