Taylor Swift-inspired bill set to tighten rules on fees and resales

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Named after Taylor Swift’s album, House File 1989 aims to increase consumer protection by implementing tougher rules on fees and ticket re-sellers in the state of Minnesota.

The bill is making its way through the Minnesota House of Representatives after the state’s House Commerce and Financial Committee voted to refer it to the General Register. There it will be taken up for a vote.

House File 1989 would require ticket sellers to list the full price, including fees, upfront on their websites.

It would also ban speculative ticketing where tickets are sold before they become available.

Member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Kelly Moller authored the bill, and said it was introduced in the aftermath of the Eras Tour onsales.

Millions of fans took to ticketing websites like Ticketmaster, which received 3.5 billion requests in a single day. This forced the ticketing platform to temporarily suspend sales.

This made it harder for fans to acquire face-value tickets and caused some to pay upwards of 70 times the initial price to secure tickets.

The event prompted a Senate Judiciary hearing in January 2023 and many lawmakers called for a federal investigation of the company.

“By implementing measures to regulate ticket resellers and ensure transparency and fairness to ticket transactions, this bill seeks to level the playing field and empower consumers to make informed choices today to curb predatory pricing practices and establish mechanisms for recourse in cases of fraud or misrepresentation,” said Todd Duesing, president of the Hennepin Theatre Trust, as reported by CBS News.

Although it is thought to be a pro-consumer bill, director of policy and public affairs for the Chamber of Progress Robert Singleton feels it will do the opposite.

He argues that the bill may hurt customers by restricting the role of ticket resellers and speculative ticketing.

“Limiting access to these secondary markets could stifle innovation in a ticketing marketplace that creates better options for consumers,” Singleton said, as reported by MPRnews.