Live events sector
Live Nation owned Ticketmaster is taking legal action against two companies in the US, which the ticketing giant believes have used bot technology to buy up tickets for live shows. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ticketmaster has filed the lawsuit against Prestige Entertainment, Renaissance Ventures and two individuals over the use of bots to purchase tickets from its platform. Earlier this year, Prestige and Renaissance agreed to pay the majority of a $4.2 million settlement with New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and also agreed to stop using bots. Ticketmaster now says it has evidence that this agreement has been broken. “Ticketmaster has uncovered evidence that suggests Renaissance has already breached the agreement by continuing to utilise bots to purchase tickets offered by Ticketmaster”, says the lawsuit. It also says that the defendants have ignored cease and desist letters.
Anti-bot legislation is becoming more common, but New South Wales is leading the way with regulations to protect consumers and govern the re-sale of tickets with a a cap on a re-sale price not to exceed 110% of the original ticket price. The state’s Minister For Better Regulation Matt Kean had previously said “I’m sick and tired of consumers being taken for a ride by shonky operators looking to make a quick buck at the expense of ordinary fans. No ticket to a NSW sporting or entertainment event should be resold for more than 10% above its original price”.
Lawmakers in New South Wales have now approved the new legislation governing secondary ticketing in the Australian state, which will outlaw the resale of tickets for profit. Anyone breaching the Fair Trading Act by re-selling tickets at more than 10% face value – or advertising the resale of tickets at more than 10% face value – could face fines of up to AUS$22,000 for individuals and AUS$110,000 for companies. However it should be noted that promoters who have used the contractual right to cancel tickets that have been resold by the original buyer will not be allowed to cancel any sold-on tickets where the resale complies with the new law. The new laws in New South Wales also include a ‘bot’ ban,
And ministers in the Canadian province of Ontario have now published proposals for regulating the secondary ticketing market, which include limiting the mark-up on any resold ticket to 50% of face value. As with NSW, The draft new rules on Ontario also include a bots ban – which was first proposed in Ontario last year – plus other regulations which add to transparency for consumers, including making it obligatory for ticket re-sellers to publish the face value of the ticket being resold. The province’s Attorney General, Yasir Naqvi, told reporters: “Stronger rules for buying and selling tickets will help give fans a fair shot at getting music, sports or theatre tickets. Our proposed changes will ban bots and excessive mark ups, prevent fraud, and provide more information in the ticket industry. We are putting fans first by making the industry more transparent and tickets more affordable”.
In the Netherlands, tickets sold online will now be listed with all ‘unavoidable’ costs, such as booking and processing fees, listed upfront, following a successful intervention by the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). Bernadette van Buchem, director of ACM’s consumer department said “Consumers are now able to see at the start of the booking process what a ticket will cost them, including all unavoidable costs. This will enable them to compare prices better. Providers are able to compete more fairly on price.”