Live Music

Ticketmaster faces calls for an investigation into ‘unfair competition’ in the Netherlands 

Featured image credit: Vonecia Carswell on Unsplash

Ticketmaster is currently facing calls for an investigation into unfair competition in the Netherlands, according to reports. 

A report from Dutch newspaper AD has said that Parliamentary parties SP, GroenLinks and PvdD, as well as multiple economists, have asked the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) to investigate Ticketmaster for unfair competition.

The ACM said that it was monitoring ticket sales in the Netherlands, but would not confirm if an investigation was ongoing.

Calls for an investigation have been heightened following the controversy around the resale of tickets for Dutch music festival, Lowlands. The festival only allows the resale of tickets through Live Nation-owned Ticketmaster, which excludes competitors such as Ticketswap.

Ticketmaster allows resellers to sell Lowlands tickets for up to 20% more than the original price. The platform also charges service fees twice, which can amount to over €40 (£35/$43) per Lowlands ticket, according to a report from the NL Times.

Lowlands tickets originally cost €300 and can be resold through Ticketmaster for more than €400 euros each, and can not be purchased elsewhere. The festival is organised by Mojo, which is also owned by Live Nation.

However, Maarten Pieter Schinkel, professor of economics at the University of Amsterdam pointed out to AD that without the 20% cap imposed by Ticketmaster, prices could become much higher.

He told the newspaper: “You don’t want a free market for resale: the price is only driven up there. So this involves a few dozen euros. That is manageable, and with Ticketmaster, you have a guarantee that you will enter.”