Pres. Biden Renews Call for Ticketing Reform in State of Union
IndustryLegalTop Story February 10, 2023 Dave Clark
President Joe Biden used some of his State of the Union address to renew his calls for legislation to improve the ticketing landscape for consumers in the United States. The democrat from Delaware has proposed the Junk Fee Prevention Act, which would include provisions against hidden fees in ticketing and other industries, as well as requirements for transparency on actual ticket availability.
“Americans are tired of being played for suckers,” Biden said during his State of the Union address Tuesday night during a passage outlining financial concerns he feels need to be addressed by lawmakers. “Junk fees may not matter to the very wealthy, but they matter to most folks in homes like the one I grew up in. They add up to hundreds of dollars a month,” Biden said during his speech. “They make it harder for you to pay the bills or afford that family trip.”
Biden’s administration has shown an increasing desire to crack down on the live entertainment and ticketing industry in recent months, as consumers have complained over outrageous ticket surge prices for live events from companies like Live Nation and Ticketmaster, though many other ticketing agencies have followed the giant in the use of similar pricing schemes.
Proposed just a week before the annual address before both houses of Congress, the Junk Fee Prevention Act would “crack down on excessive online concert, sporting event, and other entertainment ticket fees” by prohibiting excessive fees, requiring that such fees be disclosed up front, and also mandate disclosure of “any ticket holdbacks that diminish available supply.”
The National Association of Ticket Brokers, a trade group supporting ticket resale rights and consumer-friendly policy, quickly stated its support for the consumer-friendly measures outlined in the proposed legislation. Its statement specifically called out the “scheme called slow ticketing” used by Ticketmaster and Live Nation to hold back huge portions of tickets for most events without disclosure when tickets go on sale. Once the public is convinced that tickets are sold out, additional tickets are slowly released to the market, leading to a perceived yet artificial scarcity that convinces consumers to pay surged prices – referring to the process as a deceptive marketing practice.
“We applaud President Biden and his administration for wanting to address certain problems that infect the ticketing ecosystem,” the statement reads, in part. “This is a terrific signal from the White House just one week after the U.S. Senate provided the world with a front row seat to learn about how uneven, unfair, and rigged the live events system is today. Hopefully this will result in greater transparency and competition in the market so that consumers have more information, options, and freedom when it comes to buying tickets.”
Watch Biden’s State of the Union address in full:
Last Updated on February 10, 2023 by Dave Clark