Live Nation and other ticket giants promise transparency in fees

Live Nation and other ticket giants promise transparency in fees

Under pressure from the Biden administration, some of the biggest companies that handle ticketing for concerts and other live events announced Thursday that they will make it easier for consumers to see the full price of the tickets they want to buy. Which includes fees. Add more than 30 percent to the total cost of the order.

Live Nation, the world’s largest concert company, said it would begin introducing “all-in pricing” – showing consumers the full price up front – at the venues it controls, which include more than 200 amphitheaters in the United States. , Clubs and other places. , Live Nation-owned Ticketmaster said it would make the tool available to other venues and promoters as well. Those changes are expected to begin in September.

SeatGeek, a major seller for ticket resale that also works for major venues and sports teams like the Dallas Cowboys, said it also will be rolling out a feature that will tell consumers the full price of tickets.

The changes come as the Biden administration has stepped up its pressure on the entertainment and travel industries to rein in what it calls “junk fees.” In his State of the Union address in February, President Biden said he wanted to ban the “amazing resort fees that hotels charge on your bill”, adding: “We will serve on tickets to concerts and sporting events.” Withhold charges and require companies to disclose all.” Fees Advance.

The White House is convening a panel on Thursday with representatives from Live Nation, SeatGeek and other companies including Airbnb, Tickpick, Dice and the Newport Festivals Foundation to address these issues.

“President Biden is working to lower costs for hard-working families by reducing inflation, reducing insulin prices for seniors and eliminating hidden junk fees,” National Economic Council director Lael Brainard said in a statement. Have been.” “More companies are heeding the president’s call for Americans to know what they’re paying for upfront and save money as a result.”

Ticketing followed poor pre-sales for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour in November, and questions of competition and consumer fairness in the entertainment industry became hot-button issues in Washington. Ticketmaster’s system was flooded with bots, and many fans reported that the tickets they selected disappeared from their online shopping charts.

At a Senate Judiciary hearing in January, Live Nation came under harsh, bipartisan attack, with senators openly calling the company a monopoly. The Justice Department is separately investigating Live Nation for possible violations of the consent decree that was a condition of the company’s merger with Ticketmaster in 2010; One of the terms of that agreement was that Live Nation could not threaten venues with retaliation for not using Ticketmaster as their official ticket seller.

But whether recent promises from Live Nation and SeatGeek will substantially change the ticket market is unclear. The concert industry is complex, with pricing and fees controlled by various parties, who have little incentive to reduce their take – especially with live music having virtually disappeared during the Covid-19 pandemic, And ticket sales have now reached record highs.

The changes by Live Nation and SeatGeek do not reduce prices or include any commitment to reduce surcharges, which are often set by venues; Those companies are only promising to disclose the fees as part of the total cost of the ticket.

Following Mr. Biden’s State of the Union address, Live Nation proposed federal legislation that would, among other things, mandate all price gouging. Without the same standard for all competitors, say many executives in the ticketing world, those who comply voluntarily will be placed at a competitive disadvantage, as other venues and ticketing services can attract customers by advertising lower prices, only once. Completes a transaction to reveal the overcharge to the customer.

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