A bill that would ban exclusive contracts between ticketing agents and venues has been passed out of committee and will be considered by the full senate in California as early as next week. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) is specifically targeted the multi-year exclusive ticketing contracts that many argue fuels the unprecedented market dominance of Live Nation Entertainment and its subsidiary Ticketmaster.

“Exclusivity contracts with entertainment venues mean higher ticket prices for consumers. This bill gets at the heart of that problem and would help break up the monopoly Ticketmaster has had on California’s live entertainment industry,” Wilk said. “You shouldn’t have to go into debt just for enjoying a night out. My bill is a good first step in opening the door to more competition within the ticket-selling industry, and hopefully will bring some relief to consumers’ wallets.”

SB 829 would outlaw exclusivity clauses in contracts between a primary ticket seller and an entertainment venue in the state of California. Such clauses have been a huge source of power for Live Nation Entertainment and its Ticketmaster subsidiary, supercharging the world’s largest promoter and its ticketing wing through the long-term elimination of competition from other ticketing companies. While Live Nation and Ticketmaster have not officially come out in opposition, organizations that they partner with including Broadway San Diego, Hollywood Pantages, and Nederlander Concerts have voiced their opposition to the bill.

TFL and ATBS for ticketing professionals

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) has introduced similar legislation at the federal level.

The impact that competition for ticketing within one venue can have is visible with a direct example from California itself, with Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. That building houses two NBA franchises, which are ticketed by two different vendors. the Lakers are a Ticketmaster client, while the Clippers are on the AXS platform. According to a survey by the Sports Fans Coalition, Ticketmaster charges 23% fees on Laker tickets. A high amount, for sure, but it is less than half of their average fee across all clients in the same league. That’s likely because Clippers tickets sold through AXS are subject to a 14% fee, which seemingly serves as a competitive bulwark against Ticketmaster ratcheting up its fees.

“Competition, even within venues, is good for fans,” concluded SFC’s Brian Hess in testimony sent to the Connecticut General Assembly as it considered legislation in 2023.

Sen. Wilk’s bill has seen little opposition in committee thus far this session, passing without a single “no” vote through the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development and Judiciary Committees in April, and the Appropriations Commitee this week.