Google is in the midst of rolling out new policies aimed at ticket resellers. The tech giant announced a major overhaul in their advertising practices for ticket sellers in November, with the official certification process for resell sites like Stubhub, Vivid Seats, Ticketmaster, axs.com, Tele-Charge and others underway now.
Currently, none of the aforementioned sites appear to be compliant with Google’s mandate, a troubling sign considering the official enforcement of these changes is set to begin January 29. The policy changes, which include mandating that all additional fees are shown before a user’s credit card information is entered and putting appropriate disclaimers on secondary sites, may drastically change the ticketing landscape.
Google’s definition of a secondary ticketing site is any site that includes secondary market tickets, as well as an event’s premium packages and re-sale tickets that most primary markets provides, looping sites like Ticketmaster into the process also.
Most ticket brokers think this will help level the playing field, while others are criticizing Google for purposely creating polices with the potential to mislead consumers. This manipulation comes into play by failing to mandate that the service fee must be disclosed prior to entering credit card information on primary tickets, as service charges are usually higher than the secondary market price, a common complaint of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Brokers interviewed off the record are also weary of Google’s fairness to business, noting that Ticketmaster has entered into a partnership with Google to list tickets on YouTube, and Stubhub’ s General Counsel has a deep personal relationship with Google’s General Counsel.
More to follow tomorrow.