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Dutch culture ministry to investigate ticket touting

Ingrid van Engelshoven, the Netherlands’ minister for education, culture and science, has announced a review of the secondary ticketing market to see if legislation is needed to prevent ticket fraud and the harvesting of large volumes of tickets for resale.

The intervention by van Engelshoven follows a parliamentary question on 1 February by MP Peter Kwint, who asked whether the minister saw anything suspicious in U2 tickets selling out in a few minutes and then immediately appearing on resale site Seatwave. “Can you guarantee that Live Nation, or one of its subsidiaries, does not place tickets directly on secondary ticketing websites such as Seatwave?” he asked van Engelshoven.

“If not, are you prepared to investigate how these tickets are available on this site within a few minutes?”

Van Engelshoven (pictured) responded on 15 March in a letter to the House of Representatives, saying that while “at this stage, it’s too early to draw any conclusions”, she intends to discuss the issue with industry stakeholders in the coming months to establish whether any new legislation is necessary.

“Ae you prepared to investigate how these tickets are available on this site within a few minutes?”

Those stakeholders include Ticketmaster Netherlands, promoter Mojo Concerts, Music Managers Forum NL, promoters’ association VNPF and venues association VVEM. She adds she has already consulted with Eurosonic Noorderslag, competition authority ACM and online marketplaces eBay and Markplaats.

“It is important to get a good picture of the opportunities that are available to address any problems, and if there are any gaps,” she writes. The answer, she adds, could be a technological solution, naming Youp van het Hek and Jochem Meijer as artists who are already using blockchain technology to prevent the resale of their tickets.

“The number of parties that have to deal with this issue is large, and the interests are diverse,” Van Engelshoven concludes, and it “takes time to conduct further discussions and to draw up a thorough analysis. I therefore expect to be able to send a response to the House in the autumn of 2018.”

The ACM dropped its own investigation into the ticket resale market in June 2016, concluding the regular public outcries over sold-out shows are are a consequence of simple supply and demand, or “scarcity and popularity”.


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