Industry News

California bill aims to prohibit exclusivity clauses between ticket sellers and venues

Featured Image: Lukas Bato on Unsplash

US Senator Scott Wilk’s legislation to prohibit exclusivity clauses in contracts between primary ticket sellers and entertainment venues in California headed to the Senate Floor and was voted on yesterday (Monday). 

The bill passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this month.

Senator Wilk said: “Exclusivity contracts with entertainment venues mean higher ticket prices for consumers. This bill gets at the heart of that problem and would help break up the monopoly Ticketmaster has had on California’s live entertainment industry.

“You shouldn’t have to go into debt just for enjoying a night out. My bill is a good first step in opening the door to more competition within the ticket-selling industry, and hopefully will bring some relief to consumers’ wallets.”

The bill, SB 829, is aiming to help venues with the autonomy to collaborate with other ticket sellers without the fear of retaliation from larger ticket platforms.

A press release from the Senator highlighted the position of Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation, arguing that the pair “dominated” the live entertainment industry. The release said: “In 2022, Ticketmaster sold 86% of Billboard’s Top 100 Tours in the United States. Of the total 2,498 shows, Ticketmaster ticketed 2,142 of them.”

The bill is based on a proposal that is currently going through the New York legislature, and mirrors the deal that Ticketmaster Ireland has with the Irish Government.

In 2020, Ticketmaster Ireland agreed to remove exclusivity clauses from contracts with venues, after the country’s Competition and Consumer Protections Commission filed a High Court motion seeking to formalise a legal agreement.