It’s beginning to look like a bad time to be in the ticket brokering business. Ticketmaster coughs up info on its clients, Sen. Charles Schumer introduces legislation aimed at reining them in and Charley Pride takes matters into his own hands.
Over the weekend, Ticketmaster informed hundreds of ticket brokers that work with its secondary ticketing subsidiary TicketsNow it was turning over information on its dealings with them to a number of agencies, including the Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau. The agencies apparently requested the info as part of the antitrust probe into the proposed Live Nation / TM merger.
“We are taking steps to protect the confidentiality of these materials once produced but feel we are required to provide these materials in response to lawful demands,” the company said in an e-mail to the brokers.
The material being turned over includes info about the resale of tickets to Bruce Springsteen concerts on May 21 and 23, the names and contact information of all ticket brokers that TicketsNow does business with and copies of the brokers’ contracts with the site.
Hot on the heels of that bad news comes the announcement from New York’s Sen. Schumer that he’s introducing legislation that would require resellers to wait two days from the time an event goes on sale to the public to purchase tickets.
“The bottom line is we need to create a fair system where fans get first crack at good seats at a reasonable price,” Schumer said in a statement.
The senator also announced plans to meet with TM execs and other ticketing companies to discuss the idea of a national code of conduct for ticket reselling.
Good luck with that one, Sen. Schumer. It’s a great idea, but it’s pretty much like locking a bunch of thirsty fraternity brothers in a room with a keg of beer and asking them to not to drink it. Can we really expect this industry to police itself?
Of course, the senator is probably aware of this, since his bill would also require ticket resellers to get a federal registration number from the FTC and mandate that resellers post the number when selling tickets.
To make it easier to enforce the new regulations, all paper and e- tickets would be required to contain on their face the date and time of sale. Falsifying that information would be a violation of the law.
This all sounds terrific, but there are a bunch of hurdles to overcome, not the least of which will be getting the bill passed despite the efforts of lobbyists for the secondary ticketing industry to kill it.
One person who isn’t waiting around for Congress to do something about
scalpers ticket brokers is country legend Charley Pride.
When the singer got an email from Jacqueline Sharp telling him her attempt to buy tickets for his upcoming show in Edmonton, Alberta, resulted in her shelling out $933 for two tickets that should only have cost $107.48, he decided enough was enough.
Pride, who has scored 36 number one hits over the course of his career, arranged a surprise for Sharp, traveling from his home in Dallas to Leduc where she lives and then going to the Rexall Drugs where she works to personally give her the money back.
Now that’s class.