Pascrell and Pallone introduce updated BOSS and SWIFT Act

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US Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr and House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone Jr have introduced an updated BOSS and SWIFT Act legislation, which they believe is needed for transparency and regulation within the live events ticket marketplace.

The legislation is named in honour of artists Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift, with fans of each struggling to purchase tickets, either due to demand or because of cost. 

The revised plan addresses issues such as hidden fees, on-sale transparency, buyer protections, speculative tickets and ‘deceptive white label websites’. 

Congressman Pascrell said: “For too long, millions of American fans have been unable to get a fair shake for their tickets and cry out for relief. The recent experience of Taylor Swift fans being locked out of her tour is not new and Swifties are just the latest victims of Ticketmaster’s policies and a broken market. 

“For decades, the ticket market has been the Wild West: mammoth, opaque, speculative, and brutally unfair. A fan shouldn’t have to sell a kidney or mortgage a house to see their favourite performer or team. At long last, it is time to create rules for fair ticketing in this country and my legislation will do exactly that for all the fans. I thank my good friend Congressman Pallone for continuing to support this important ticket marketplace reform bill.”

Congressman Pallone added: “Consumers deserve to enjoy their favourite artists and live entertainment without breaking the bank. It’s past time to update the ticket marketplace to ensure it’s fair, transparent, and working for ticket buyers – not Ticketmaster or resellers. 

“That’s why I’m proud to be an original co-sponsor of Rep. Pascrell’s BOSS and SWIFT Act, which will help protect consumers when they buy tickets from ticket sellers and resellers.”

The legislation was first offered by Pascrell and Pallone back in 2009, with Pascrell being an early critic of the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger. Just last year, Pascrell wrote to the heads of the Federal Trade Commission and the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division urging them to overhaul federal guidelines to make it easier to overturn bad mergers. 

Some of the reforms noted in the Acts include the requirement of all ticket sellers to adhere to all-in pricing; clear disclosures of refund policies and guarantees and disclosing to buyers if a ticket is being offered as a primary sale or a secondary sale. 

Primary market place reforms in the bill include transparency on the total number and costs of tickets that will be offered for sale to the general public; preserving ticketing transferability and ensuring fans cannot be sanctioned for reselling a ticket. 

Secondary market place reforms in the bill include clamping down on unauthorised speculative ticket sales; protecting consumers that receive tickets not matching the description of those purchased; disclosing to purchases when the secondary seller is the primary ticket seller, venue, team or artist associated with the event; prohibiting unauthorised insiders from selling tickets at marked-up prices and restricting resellers from selling the same seat to more than one person at the same time.