As Ticketmaster tries to change the subject, NCL defends fans’ rights in Maryland and Colorado
February 24, 2023
Media contact: National Consumers League – Katie Brown, email@example.com, 202-823-8442
WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, Ticketmaster’s parent company, Live Nation Entertainment, announced record quarterly results, underscoring their dominance of the live event industry. Not content with revenues of $16.7 billion (up 44% from the pre-pandemic era), Live Nation launched a glitzy nationwide public relations campaign to roll out the so-called “FAIR Ticketing Act,” a not-so-subtle attempt to create laws that would cement its monopoly power.
State and federal legislators should not be fooled by Live Nation’s new push to change the subject after months of well-earned bad publicity. Despite its fan-friendly name, the FAIR Ticketing Act is anything by fair for consumers. We agree with Live Nation that there should be curbs on speculative ticketing, better enforcement of anti-ticket bot laws, and industry-wide all-in pricing requirements. Unfortunately, the true aim of the bill appears to be to give Live Nation, not fans, the ability to set prices and terms of sale on the secondary market; the one part of the industry the company does not monopolize.
The National Consumers League (NCL) has been active in trying to push back against such efforts. On Wednesday, John Breyault, NCL’s Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications, and Fraud testified before the Maryland House of Delegates in support of House Bill 795, common-sense consumer protection legislation that would mandate all-in pricing of tickets, promote transparency of ticket holdbacks, and guarantee that consumers can benefit from a competitive secondary market.
“Fans in Maryland and throughout the country benefit from an open, competitive market for live event tickets,” said Breyault. “HB 795 would put Maryland at the forefront nationally of states that have made putting fans rights ahead of the interests of a monopolistic ticketing industry that is too often rigged against consumers.”
Breyault also testified before the Colorado Senate in opposition to SB 60, a bill supported by the ticketing industry that would allow multi-billion-dollar companies like Ticketmaster to dominate the secondary ticket market. The bill would allow Ticketmaster and sports teams like the Colorado Rockies or Denver Broncos to limit resale to ticket exchanges where they set the prices and terms of sale.
“Ticketmaster is already the 800-pound gorilla of the live event industry,” said Breyault. “If SB 23-060 was to become law, Ticketmaster would have free reign to cut off competitive choices for fans in Colorado”
About the National Consumers League (NCL)
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit nclnet.org.