US Representatives introduce bipartisan legislation on ticket fees

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US Representatives Jan Schakowsky and Gus Bilirakis, Ranking Member and Chair, respectively, of the Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, have introduced a bipartisan legislation that would require all event ticket sellers to display the total ticket price inclusive of all fees.

The legislation would mean the total ticket price with all fees must be listed by event ticket sellers in any advertisement, marketing or promotional materials. The Representatives believe this would improve transparency across the entertainment industry in the US.

The TICKET Act would take inspiration from current advertising guidelines for airline tickets, which requires that consumers are able to see the full price of a ticket before purchasing. 

Congresswoman Schakowsky said: “Fans are incredibly frustrated by how hard it has become to buy event tickets. With every ticketing debacle, from Beyoncé to Taylor Swift, and so many more, their frustration grows. 

“By introducing the bipartisan TICKET Act today, we are proud to be responding to the voices of so many fans to make this process easier and more transparent. We are looking forward to further engagement from stakeholders as we continue to advance this legislation for the benefit of fans and artists. Consumers deserve to be protected from fraudulent tickets, surprise costs, and excessive fees.”

Congressman Bilirakis added: “here is nothing more disappointing for an avid fan than being lured into the prospect of an affordable ticket to see his or her favourite sports team or band only to learn later in the check-out process that the final price tag is significantly higher.  

“Our pro-consumer bill brings much needed transparency to the whole ticketing industry, and I’m committed to working towards reforms that protect consumers and provide certainty in the marketplace.”

The TICKET Act would require all event ticket sellers, including primary and secondary market event ticket sellers, to display the total price; disclose the total ticket price with an itemised list of the base price plus each fee at the beginning of a transaction and inform consumers if a ticket being offered for sale is a speculative ticket – where the seller does not have possession of the ticket at that time.