In separate instances on either side of the Atlantic Ocean, primary ticketing giant Ticketmaster has found its fee structure questioned for potentially being excessive.
Published reports coming out of the U.K. stress that there are concerns among about 40 Members of Parliament (MPs) that Ticketmaster is not completely forthcoming with consumers about the fees the company charges on tickets, particularly for the theatre and opera. A motion has been filed in the House of Commons that would ask the company to more clearly advertise the fee structure, because some MPs said some customers complained of not being aware some of the fees Ticketmaster charges.
Separately, some theaters in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region in Minnesota are reportedly balking at a move by discount ticketer TC Tix to merge with Ticketmaster. TC Tix sells discount theater tickets to shows in the Twin Cities area, and some theaters have voiced concerns that Ticketmaster’s fees may lead to higher ticket prices.
Ticketmaster vehemently denies that its fee structure in the U.K. is misleading, and separately does not believe its alliance with TC Tix will lead to higher ticket prices.
“Any fees associated with the purchase of a ticket from Ticketmaster are clearly visible to the consumer prior to their acceptance,” Chris Edmonds, managing director of Ticketmaster UK was reported telling the publication The Stage. “Likewise, in many cases Ticketmaster is one of a number of agents selling an allocation of tickets for a theatre or show. Here, the consumer has the choice to shop around or buy tickets direct from the venue box office where booking fees are not applied.”
In Minnesota, Ticketmaster reportedly said that fees will vary per ticket, but that many tickets will not carry extra fees, according to the Star-Tribune newspaper. TC Tix, which specializes in same-day, box office discount ticket sales, hooked up with Ticketmaster in part because it has seen its sales drop in recent years as more consumers turned to the internet to buy tickets, especially after Minnesota repealed its anti-scalping laws.