StubHub says the FAIR Ticketing Act is “particularly concerning” in a marketplace where Live Nation and Ticketmaster “regularly manipulate the release of ticket supply and availability to take advantage of high demand through dynamic ticket pricing.”
Following last month’s US Senate hearing examining the ticketing industry and Live Nation’s Ticketmaster division, Live Nation focused on the secondary ticketing market, citing it as the major problem facing the industry and concert attendees worldwide. To that end, Live Nation announced what it calls the FAIR Ticketing Act — but as ticket reselling platform StubHub points out, the proposition is missing a few fundamental tenets to be considered “fair.”
On the surface, the FAIR Ticketing Act’s proposals appear reasonable and in line with counteracting the massive inflation affecting the ticketing industry. However, the act fails to mention Live Nation and Ticketmaster’s behavior leading to accusations of anti-competitive monopolizing of the ticketing sector — Live Nation owns the largest ticketing company, promotes tours and festivals, owns many venues, and features a significant artist management division.
“LNE and TM’s ‘Fair Ticketing Act‘ specifically focuses on regulating the secondary ticketing market and does not include any significant reforms to their own practices,” says a representative for StubHub. “Anything but fair, the proposal is meant to strengthen the control LNE, TM, and their venues and artists have over this industry and consumers at large.”
“Ticket transferability laws that empower consumers in the ticket buying transaction have long had the support and advocacy of consumer groups,” they continue. “LNE and TM’s regular opposition to these laws and their frequent use of derogatory terms like ‘scalper’ are a veiled attempt to maintain the control they’ve had over consumers and cover up their own willful failures in helping to enforce existing statutes like the BOTS Act that go after bad actors.”
“In the wake of bipartisan calls to investigate anti-competitive and anti-consumer practices by Live Nation Entertainment, (their) solution is to point fingers and call for policies that strengthen their own control over the industry and consumers. StubHub continues to join consumer advocates in calling for comprehensive policy solutions, like the BOSS Act, that empower fans, increase transparency across the entire marketplace, and ensure competition.”
The BOSS Act — officially called the Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing Act — is designed to mitigate improper practices in the secondary ticketing market, such as bots and price-gouging. The legislation is spearheaded by New Jersey Democratic Congressmen Bill Pascrell and Frank Pallone Jr. and was first introduced in 2009.
A representative for Live Nation responded to Variety’s requests for comment, stating that “the artist will always make the best decision for fans. FAIR Ticketing is not about locking down resale to our site; all resellers can take part as long as they are abiding by the terms the artist sets on their content. This isn’t theoretical; that is exactly how the NFL Ticket Exchange works. StubHub is pushing to make it illegal for artists to have (a) choice — even choices that are good for consumers.”