Legislation gives Ticketmaster more data on tickets sold
Late last week, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn (R-TX) led introduction of the Fans First Act, legislation to address the live event ticketing system. While the bill includes several commonsense provisions to increase transparency in ticket sales, the legislation does nothing to address Senators’ complaints a year ago about the power of Ticketmaster.
Additionally, the Fans First Act includes a measure that would allow Ticketmaster to gather data on tickets sold by competing services, strengthening its power in the live event industry.
The introduction of the Fans First Act follows a January 2023 hearing on ticketing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, in which Sen. Klobuchar highlighted competition issues including Ticketmaster’s vertical integration of ticket sales and venue ownership, its restrictive contracts with other venues, and the company’s domination of promoting.
At that hearing, Sen. Klobuchar remarked:
“So whether it is for fans, performers, promoters, or venue operators, we need to make sure we have competition to bring prices down and bring innovation in and stop the fiascos. Today, Live Nation does not just dominate the ticketing–it is about 70 percent of the big concert market–but also they own many of the major venues.”
The Fans First Act addresses none of these concerns.
“Senators talked a big game about competition policy following the Taylor Swift ticketing fiasco last year, but bizarrely the bill they’ve followed up with actually gives more power to Ticketmaster,” said Chamber of Progress CEO Adam Kovacevich. “It’s especially egregious when there’s bipartisan ticketing legislation that’s already passed committee – the TICKET Act – that would improve ticketing without any sweetheart provisions for Ticketmaster.”
The bipartisan TICKET Act would require ticket sellers to display the total price of a ticket, including fees, in advertisements, marketing, or promotional materials. Introduced by Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), versions of the TICKET Act have passed out of both House and Senate committees.
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