A US Senate antitrust panel is to look into a "lack of competition in ticketing markets" following The Eras Tour onsale controversy
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The new legislation, modelled on a similar law in New York, would require ticketing platforms to disclose the full price of tickets upfront
By James Hanley on 19 May 2023
Two Massachusetts lawmakers have proposed new ticketing legislation dubbed the “Taylor Swift Bill”, requiring platforms to disclose the full price of tickets upfront.
Fox Business reports that Democrats Rep. Dan Carey and Sen. John Velis have put forward identical bills, called “An Act Ensuring Transparent Ticket Pricing” which requires ticket sellers to show the total cost of tickets, including fees and surcharges, before the buyer selects them for purchase.
“Disclosures of subtotals, fees, charges, and any other component of the total price shall not be false or misleading, and must be presented in the same size as the total price,” it reads.
Carey tells Boston 25 the proposal has become known as the “Taylor Swift Bill” following the fallout from last year’s Eras Tour presale, which led to an investigation into the market by the US Senate.
“We heard from a lot of fans who were just frustrated with the ticket-selling process”
“We heard from a lot of fans who were just frustrated with the ticket-selling process,” he says. “This would be one tool in the toolbox to help know the full price is right away, to see what portion is fees and what portion is the price of the ticket.
“I’ve heard from Bruce Springsteen fans, Taylor Swift fans, Beyonce fans, Patriots fans, all sorts of different folks who want to go to these different events and don’t want to be hoodwinked while they’re doing it.”
The bill, which is modelled on similar law in New York, is currently before the joint committee on consumer protection and professional licensure.
“What this bill is at the most fundamental level is a consumer protection bill,” adds Velis. “It enables folks to know their budget when they go in to buy these tickets and know this is the amount they’re ultimately going to be asked to spend.”
Ticketing reform has been an increasingly hot topic in the United States since last year’s Eras onsale
US president Joe Biden demanded a crackdown on “excessive ticket fees” earlier this year, saying hidden or unexpected fees “are not only costly to consumers, but they can stifle competition by encouraging companies to use increasingly sophisticated tools to disguise the true price consumers face”. The call prompted senators Richard Blumenthal and Sheldon Whitehouse to table the “Junk Fee Prevention Act”.
Ticketing reform has been an increasingly hot topic in the United States since last year’s Eras onsale, with Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino recently addressing high-profile furores over ticket prices and on-sales. LN has been a vocal supporter of all-in pricing, and launched the Fair Ticketing Act with the support of organisations such as CAA, UTA, Wasserman Music and WME.
Nineteen companies and associations operating in North America also formed the Fix the Tix coalition earlier this month to “collectively advocate for a ticketing experience better than the nightmare many fans and artists currently navigate”.
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