Live Nation Entertainment’s CEO Michael Rapino reportedly had a fairly simple response for recent criticism and questioning from Sen. Amy Klobuchar regarding his company’s prominent pledge to President Biden that it would stop hiding “junk fees” from consumers – it’s the other guys’ fault.

“We agree wholeheartedly that tickets to live entertainment events should be marketed, listed and sold to fans using the full ticket price, all per ticket fees included. The all-in price should be the price fans see throughout the shopping and purchase process,” wrote Rapino in response to the Minnesota senator’s open questioning of why consumers still had to actively search for a toggle to view prices including fees in most states despite the high profile promise from Live Nation, Ticketmaster, TickPick, and SeatGeek earlier this year.

But that’s simply not possible at this time, per Rapino’s response, as reported by MusicAlly. The reason is that Live Nation and Ticketmaster’s partners (venues and promoters) can choose not to allow all-in pricing, and many of the company’s competitors in resale also don’t do all-in pricing by default, so why should they?

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“Ticketmaster does not have the unilateral right to [make all-in pricing the default],” he says. “[It] is an agent for the venues that issue tickets and along with content owners (artists, sports teams, etc.) determine ticket pricing and how fees are displayed.”

The response is fairly standard as far as how Ticketmaster and its parent deal with negative press. Its defense against widespread anger over the implosion of the Taylor Swift Eras Tour a year ago was to blame ticket resale and “bots” for the mess. Its defense regarding outrageous high prices being asked for tickets while its own profits have exploded in the last two years is to blame ticket resale.

Live Nation and TIcketmaster’s massive lobbying budget and public relations efforts are designed at convincing lawmakers and consumers that the solution to their market dominance and alleged anticompetitive behaviors are not to regulate IT, but rather to make IT the regulator of its own competition.

It is not surprising that the initial headlines regarding the promises of a shift to “all-in” ticket pricing have failed to live up to the hype. As TicketNews pointed out at the time of the announcement by President Biden, none of the companies actually promised true “all-in” pricing as a default. They merely promised that it would be an option for consumers (which it already was). The industry consensus going back to the 2019 FTC Workshop that focused on ticket fees and their late introduction to the transaction being a major source of consumer issues was that every company is fine with doing it – as long as everybody else is required to do it too.

At the moment, there are several pieces of legislation that have proposed to make “all-in” pricing the default at the Federal level, superseding the patchwork of state laws that currently exist. One bill deals almost exclusively with the elimination of “junk fees” after a section regulating so-called “speculative” ticket listings (where a seller lists tickets for sale that they do not yet own but promise to provide in time for the show) was lobbied away – presumably at the behest of Live Nation or its operatives. Another is far more comprehensive – but the BOSS and SWIFT Act has already drawn significant opposition from both Live Nation Entertainment and the Irving Azoff-related Fix The Tix Coalition, which are both lobbying for legislation that allows promoters and ticketing agencies to effectively declare their own competition as illegal.

Beyond legislation, the Biden Administration (via the Federal Trade Commission) has also promised it will make rules that make “all-in” pricing the reality for ticketing and other industries.

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“We want companies competing on price, not on their ability to hide prices from consumers,” a Biden Administration official told CNN. “So what our rule would do is require upfront pricing, so that consumers can look for the ticket seller with the best deal and an honest business and have a fair chance to compete.”

For now, however, the majority of ticketing operators out there seem fine with competing mostly on their ability to hide prices from consumers until their competition also gets that ability taken away, Live Nation/Ticketmaster included.