Congressman Adriano Espaillat, who represents the upper Manhattan New York 13th Congressional District, recently wrote to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding small business participation in the online ticket sales market (PDF). In supporting small and minority participation, Congressman Espaillat wrote that the “live-event ticket sale industry is a robust sector of the internet-driven economy that should welcome new entrants.”
Congressman Espaillat, the first Dominican-American member of Congress, serves on the Committee on Small Business, the Subcommittee on Health and Technology, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and as importantly, represents a group of constituents located in the entertainment capital of the world, New York City.
The US Minority Ticketing Group (USMTG), an industry trade group formed two years ago to represent brokers, artists, producers and others involved in the ticketing industry, met with Congressman Espaillat, a member of the Small Business Committee, to press their case for added protections for small businesses in the industry. The congressman was very responsive and immediately understood the issues facing small enterprises. One of the topics raised by USMTG was the new Google policy to add a certification process and extra restrictions for ad purchases made by ticket resellers on the popular search engine marketing system. He wrote to the FTC that “the recent institution of a de-facto ‘pre-certification’ application process by Google…will be harmful to small and nascent companies that create the infrastructure of an online marketplace…”
Specifically, what was most encouraging for USMTG was Congressman Espaillat inquiring of the FTC as to how it was working to create and maintain an even playing field for small businesses to participate in the marketplace. Additionally, he wanted to know what could be done to ensure small businesses are not indirectly harmed by changes made by online advertising platforms with major corporations in mind.
Having the support of a member of the Small Business Committee is a major win for USMTG and the industry as a whole. USMTG intends to continue to work with state and federal representatives to ensure that the playing field is level and equal for all.