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Rep. Pascrell plans to reintroduce proposed ticketing legislation in new congress

By Alfred Branch Jr.

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., a Democrat who was overwhelmingly re-elected to congress from his New Jersey district this week, said he will continue his fight to clean up the ticketing industry with new legislation.

In the summer of 2009, Pascrell introduced the Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing bill, following problems with the sale of Bruce Springsteen tickets on Ticketmaster and its secondary ticket subsidiary TicketsNow.

Nicknamed the BOSS ACT, the proposed bill calls for several measures, including more transparency in the ticketing industry and a requirement that brokers wait 48 hours after tickets go on sale to the public before they can buy them.

Yet, since it was introduced, the bill has sat in congress as members turned their attention to other legislative matters. In addition, a second bill also was introduced that sought to accomplish some same reforms as the BOSS ACT, but that bill has not been acted upon either.

"It's my intention to reintroduce the BOSS ACT in the next session," Pascrell told TicketNews in a statement. Republicans won control of the House of Representatives following the November 2 election, which could make it more difficult for a Democrat to move a bill forward. "Naturally, I have been considering [making] some changes to the bill. A lot's happened since we first introduced it, including the Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger and the rise of paperless ticketing."

In July of this year, New York became the first state to legislate paperless ticketing by requiring that ticket vendors provide fans with a choice between purchasing paperless or traditional hard-copy tickets.

Pascrell, who testified in congress against the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger, staunchly opposed the deal, and joined with advocacy groups that also came out against it.

This time around, he is willing to hold out an olive branch to ticket companies, and others, to see what compromises can be reached.

"I'll meet again with ticket industry stakeholders to get the best assessment of how the landscape has changed," Pascrell said. He may also seek more Republican co-signers on the bill to help move it forward. "One thing I can tell you that hasn't changed is my commitment to the consumers. They will be foremost in my mind as we move the BOSS ACT forward."

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