Amendment approved for TICKET Act, change suggested for BOTS Act

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The US House Energy and Commerce Innovation, Data and Commerce Subcommittee has approved an amended version of The Transparency in Charges for Key Events Ticketing Act (TICKET Act).

The bipartisan bill (HR 3950) would require live event ticketing companies to disclose the full price of a ticket at the time it is first displayed, and not at the end of check-out. The bill would also help to tackle ‘speculative ticketing’, where a fan thinks they have purchased a ticket, but has instead bought a promise to procure a ticket. 

Subcommittee chair Gus Bilirakis commented: “I am particularly excited to be voting on the TICKET Act, a bipartisan bill that I have sponsored along with my colleague and friend, Ranking Member Schakowsky. The TICKET Act will bring upfront price transparency to consumers as it relates to event tickets.

“Live events have long been plagued by annoying hidden fees at the end of the checkout transaction – I’m glad that the industry has recognised the need to change this process to bring more transparency to the market about the true price of a ticket.”

Responding to the move, the Ticket Buyer Bill of Rights Coalition said: “With an all-of-government effort underway to increase transparency around fees and the real price of goods, the bipartisan TICKET Act continues to advance and upfront, all-in pricing of live event tickets could soon become a welcome reality for the many millions of consumers who buy tickets every year. 

“The TICKET Act also requires clear and conspicuous disclosure of tickets offered speculatively, where the seller doesn’t yet have possession of the tickets, which will help reduce the risk that fans end up without the tickets they expected.”

Elsewhere, US Senator Marsha Blackburn is reportedly planning on beefing up the BOTS Act to combat the growing use of Bots to attack high-demand online ticket sales for major tours. 

The BOTS Act was co-authored by Blackburn at the end of 2016 and signed into law by then-President Barack Obama. However, the law has only been enforced once in seven years according to a report from Billboard. 

Blackburn is aiming to introduce the Mitigating Automated Internet Networks (MAIN) for Event Ticketing Act, a bill the Senator co-authored with fellow Senator Ben Ray Luján. This would create new reporting requirements for online ticket sellers attacked by Bots, and introduce new security requirements for sites such as Ticketmaster. 

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