BOSS and SWIFT Act Introduced Into the US Senate — Potentially Forcing Transparent, All-In Ticket Pricing

Boss and SWIFT Act introduced
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Boss and SWIFT Act introduced
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Photo Credit: Mike Stoll

The BOSS and SWIFT Act have been introduced into the US Senate — requiring transparent, all-in ticket pricing.

In the ongoing battle for ticketing reform, US Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (D-MA), and Edward J. Markey (D-MA), have today introduced the latest iteration of the BOSS and SWIFT Act. Named after Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift, the legislation is designed to protect consumers from deceptive practices in the primary and secondary ticket marketplaces, calling for transparent, all-in ticket pricing.

“This measure will be a major step toward stopping all the hidden fees and exorbitant prices that have plagued concertgoers for far too long,” said Blumenthal. “Ticket buyers now face sky-high junk charges or shut-outs by scalpers and secondary sellers. These standards bring fairness and transparency to fans, artists, and venues who power this industry.”

“For too long, ticket sellers have employed deceptive fees and practices to maximize profits at consumers’ expense. It’s time to crack down on this anti-hero behavior, which is exactly what the BOSS and SWIFT Act will do,” added Hirono with a nod to Taylor Swift’s massive hit. “By requiring ticket sellers to act with transparency, this legislation will protect consumers, helping them enjoy the best day at their favorite concerts, games, and performances.”

“Concert-goers know the story all too well — for decades, tickets have continued to skyrocket at the hands of greedy corporations,” said Markey with another Swift song reference. “The BOSS and SWIFT Act will make sure that music fans, including Swifties, can access tickets at affordable prices — all while holding corporations accountable for pinching their pockets. I thank Senator Blumenthal for making sure that Ticketmaster and the rest of the ticket industry have stopped fans from seeing their favorite artists for the last time.”

The BOSS and SWIFT Act — a backronym for The Better Oversight of Stub Sales and Strengthening Well-Informed and Fair Transactions for Audiences of Concert Ticketing — would require sellers to disclose the total cost of tickets up front, including all service fees, convenience charges, delivery and logistics fees, and other costs levied against consumers, while requiring sellers to transparently disclose their refund policies.

It would further prevent sellers from changing the total cost of a ticket during the purchase process without alerting the buyer, and ensures that primary sellers are transparent about marketing and distribution by disclosing the total number and cost of tickets that will be offered at least seven days before they go on sale — alleviating “speculative” ticketing. The legislation would also give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state attorneys general enforcement authority and enable consumers to seek private rights of action for damages caused by those who violate those standards.

The BOSS and SWIFT Act has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ). The legislation is endorsed by the National Consumers League, Sports Fan Coalition, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, FanFreedom Project, the Progressive Policy Institute, and the National Association of Consumer Advocates.