A long-awaited bill was introduced to the US Senate, which proposes the overhaul of online ticket sales from companies like Ticketmaster.
The Fans First Act has gained support from Republicans and Democrats and seeks to curb the use of bots to buy up blocks of tickets for resale.
The bill, introduced by Senator John Cornyn of Texas and co-sponsored by three Democrats and two Republicans, also seeks to provide buyers with all-in pricing which includes all fees in advance of purchase.
The topic is popular among voters and is relatively low-risk legislation in a Congress otherwise mired by political differences.
Online ticket sales became national news when Ticketmaster famously crashed during the presale for the Taylor Swift tour last November.
This crash and Ticketmaster’s poor handling of the aftermath resulted in a Congressional hearing where Joe Berchtold, the President and CTO of Live Nation which owns Ticketmaster, was grilled for the outage.
The company is now being investigated by the Department of Justice for possible anti-trust violations.
Many don’t think the proposed bill goes far enough to curb some of the predatory practices by the companies that charge concierge fees simply to be “in line” for tickets.
It is estimated that ticket sales in 2023 will top $9 billion with much of this funneled through a few companies with outsized control of the industry, and who manage it behind a series of black box systems that do not provide value to the concert and sports fans who use them.
Senator John Cornyn said of the bill, “This legislation would rebuild trust in the ticketing system by cracking down on bots and others who take advantage of consumers through price gouging and other predatory practices and increase price transparency for ticket purchasers.”