CONSUMER / COMPETITION
Live events sector
Two months after Italy’s landmark legislation which criminalised ticket touting in Italy, an Irish MP has introduced a similar bill – the Prohibition of Above-Cost Ticket Touting Bill 2016 – for consideration by the Oireachtas in the Republic of Ireland. The ,move comes after the widespread re-sale of tickets for U2’s Joshua Tree tour, and the bill is authored by Noel Rock TD and seeks to outlaw above-face value resale in the Irish republic and would, if passed, “render it unlawful for any unauthorised person to sell or offer for sale tickets for major sporting, musical or theatrical events for a price in excess of the officially designated price [face value]”.
The bill has won the backing of a number of other members of Oireachtas, including Stephen Donnelly TD, who has separately contacted the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection to ask for an “investigation into potentially illegal activity” by ticket touts. Rock said: “I have been inundated with people contacting me regarding examples of ticket touting following the sale of U2 concert tickets ” adding “This will be one of the biggest concerts of the year and consumers are now being asked to pay a large figure – well over face value – to attend. It’s just not fair on true fans who couldn’t obtain a ticket. The government now has to act swiftly to outlaw the reselling of tickets over face value.”
In Italy, promoter Barley Arts has hosted the inaugural No Secondary Ticketing conference, the “first international conference against secondary ticketing”, which was convened in the aftermath of another ticketing scandal, when a large swathe of Coldplay tickets appeared on the secondary market, which led to ticket touting being provisionally banned outright in Italy. The conference brought together international live music professionals, lawyers, economists, ticket agencies, the Italian Anti Trust Authority, consumer rights activists and politicians to discuss the ethics and effects of secondary ticketing on the global live entertainment industry: The conference also saw launch of the Anti-Secondary Ticketing Federation – an association that will report illegal ticket resale to police and “inform consumers about the risks of the secondary market”.