Live Nation and Other Ticket Giants Promise Transparency on Fees

Under pressure from the Biden administration, some of the biggest ticket companies for concerts and other live events said Thursday they would make it easier for consumers to see the full price of the tickets they want to buy. Adds 30% or more to the total cost of the order.

Live Nation, the world’s largest concert company, offers ‘all-in pricing’ to consumers in advance at all venues, including more than 200 amphitheaters, clubs and other spaces managed by the company across the United States. announced that it will begin the introduction of . Ticketmaster, which is owned by Live Nation, said it will make the tool available to other venues and promoters. These changes are scheduled to start in September.

SeatGeek, a leading ticket resale vendor that also deals with major venues and sports teams such as the Dallas Cowboys, also said it would begin rolling out a feature that reveals the full price of a ticket to consumers.

The changes come as the Biden administration mounts pressure on the entertainment and travel industries to curb what it calls “junk fees.” In his State of the Union address in February, President Biden said he wanted to ban “surprise resort fees that hotels charge to their bills” and “stop service charges for tickets to concerts and sporting events and force companies to disclose everything”. I can,” he added. Fees must be paid in advance. “

The White House on Thursday convened a committee with representatives from Live Nation, SeatGeek, companies including Airbnb, TickPick, Dice and the Newport Festivals Foundation to address these issues.

“President Biden will reduce the cost of hardworking families by curbing inflation, capping insulin prices for the elderly and eliminating hidden junk fees,” said Rael Brainerd, chairman of the National Economic Council, in a statement. We are working to reduce it,” he said. “More businesses are heeding the president’s call and knowing what Americans are paying for in advance, so they can save money as a result.”

Ticket sales and issues of competition and consumer fairness in the entertainment industry have become a hot topic in Washington after pre-sales for Taylor Swift’s Ellas Tour failed in November. Ticketmaster’s system was flooded with bots, and many fans reported that their tickets had disappeared from online shopping charts.

During a Senate judiciary hearing in January, Live Nation came under severe bipartisan attack, with senators openly calling the company a monopoly. Separately, the Justice Department is investigating Live Nation for possible violations of a consent decree that was a condition of its 2010 merger with Ticketmaster. Among the terms of that agreement was that Live Nation could not threaten venues in retaliation for their failure to use Ticketmaster as their official ticket distributor.

It’s unclear, however, how much of a substantive change the ticket market will see from the recent commitments by Live Nation and SeatGeek. The concert industry is complex, with pricing and fees controlled by various parties, especially with the resurgence of live music, which nearly died out during the COVID-19 pandemic, and now with record ticket sales. so there is little incentive to reduce takes.

The changes made by Live Nation and SeatGeek do not include promises to lower prices or reduce surcharges often set by venues. These companies only promise to disclose the fees as part of the total cost of the ticket.

After Biden’s State of the Union address, Live Nation proposed federal legislation that, among other things, would require all-in pricing. Many ticketing industry executives say that if all competitors don’t hold to the same standards, companies that voluntarily comply will be at a competitive disadvantage. This is because other venues and ticketing services may advertise lower prices to entice customers, who once reveal additional charges. Complete the transaction.

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