The Quebec government has passed a strict new ticket resale law designed to make it more difficult for ticket brokers to resell tickets above face value.
The new law, Bill 25, calls for brokers to obtain permission from a content provider — such as a sports team, concert promoter or venue — before they can resell that provider’s tickets above face value.
The bill also requires brokers to tell consumers the source of the ticket, its initial cost and whether tickets are still available from the original box office.
The new law was passed at the end of October and will take effect in spring 2012. But a specific date has not been disclosed.
“This bill will allow consumers to buy concert tickets with confidence, that is to say, knowing the initial price of the tickets and knowing that these tickets are still available at the ticket [box office],” Quebec’s justice minister Jean-Marc Fournier said in a statement released late last month.
He added that the law is trying to correct the “artificial distortions” created by ticket brokers, who charge high resale prices that hurt artists, producers and consumers.
The bill was supported by the Montreal Canadiens and several promoters and venues that argued that ticket resale is unfair to consumers. The Canadiens recently launched their own ticket resale Web site, where some tickets are sold above face value.
The Canadian Ticket Brokers Association (CTBA) and other brokers opposed the law because it could drastically affect their businesses. In addition, the group argued that consumers could be hurt by the law because ticket prices would be controlled by content providers that may not allow tickets to be resold for amounts below face value.
“CTBA members are evaluating our options at present,” CTBA spokesperson Mario Livich told TicketNews.
Angie Coss, spokesperson for Montreal-based ticket brokerage Quality Plus Tickets, declined to comment on the new law, but said local attorney Julius Grey is reviewing it for possible legal action.
Fournier added, “These legislative changes are in line with the efforts and investments of the government to support the development of Quebec culture.”