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New legislation could mandate all-in pricing in UK

All-in ticket pricing could be mandated in the UK as part of proposed legislation passed in the House of Lords.

The Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill had its third reading yesterday (26 March), which included an amendment relating to “drip-feeding” of additional ticket fees by Lord Malcolm Offord.

“This amendment… requires a trader to set out in an invitation to purchase the total price of a product including any mandatory fees, taxes and charges that apply to the purchase of a product rather than ‘drip-feeding’ such amounts during the transaction process,” it reads.

The Bill will now be returned to the House of Commons for further debate.

Live Nation was among a number of companies in the US that pledged to adopt “all-in” ticket pricing – which allows fans to see the full ticket price upfront, including fees – last summer.

The Ticketmaster parent enforced all-in pricing “for concerts at the venues and festivals the company operates across the United States” from last September, having advocated for all-in pricing to become law for many years. In 2023, it joined with an industry-wide coalition to promote FAIR Ticketing Reforms.

“Ticketmaster supports legislation that requires all-in pricing across the industry,” Ticketmaster MD Andrew Parsons tells IQ.

“This amendment imposes requirements on secondary tickets sites”

A recent report from consumer body Which? revealed that “bewildering” and “sneaky” additional fees make up 25% of UK gig ticket prices after looking at fees charged by Ticketmaster, See Tickets, AXS, Eventim and Dice.

In response, Ticketmaster told Rolling Stone UK that fees are “typically set by and shared with our clients”, while Eventim said: “All mandatory fees are mentioned on page one of the booking process, and nothing is added that the customer wasn’t made aware of from the start.” Dice said: “Fans see the full price upfront, and there are no nasty surprises at the end.”

A further amendment to the UK Bill, put forward by longtime anti-touting campaigner Lord Tim Clement-Jones, would impact the secondary ticketing market by requiring resale platforms to see proof of purchase when tickets are listed for resale.

“This amendment imposes requirements on secondary tickets sites regarding proof of purchase, ticket number limits and the provision of information, with the aim of reducing fraud,” continues the Bill.

The requirements are in line with the recommendations made in a 2021 report by the Competition and Markets Authority to tighten laws around online ticket touting, which were rejected by the UK government in May last year.

The British competition regulator proposed stronger rules to deal with illegal activity on non-price-capped secondary ticketing sites. Its guidance also included measures to clamp down on the bulk-buying of tickets as well as the practice of “speculative ticketing”, where sellers list tickets they don’t yet own.

An additional amendment proposed relates to the sale of tickets received by trustees of registered charities

Other suggestions included ensuring platforms are fully responsible for incorrect information about tickets that are listed for sale on their websites, and a new system of licensing for platforms that sell secondary tickets that would enable an authority to act quickly and issue sanctions.

However, then business secretary Kevin Hollinrake said he was “not convinced” by the need for additional legislative changes.

“I am not convinced that the additional costs that would fall on ticket buyers (as regulatory costs would be passed on) are justified by the degree of harm set out in your report,” said the Conservative MP. “This is especially the case when we are already proposing to give the CMA additional administrative powers to protect consumers which the CMA could deploy in the secondary ticketing market.

“However, we propose to keep the position on maximum numbers of ticket resales under review as part of our ongoing monitoring of the legislative landscape in the ticketing market and in the light of technological, enforcement and other market developments.”

Finally, an additional amendment proposed by Lord Colin Moynihan relates to the sale of tickets received by trustees of registered charities.

“Trustees of registered charities who receive tickets as a result of their position as a trustee must not sell those tickets through secondary ticketing facilities for more than face value plus a handling charge,” it says.

A request by the Charity Commission that London’s Royal Albert Hall be referred to a charity tribunal over concerns its trustees – seat owners who control the London venue, but can also profit from selling tickets – had a conflict of interest, was reportedly refused in 2021.


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