Ticket sellers support mandate to disclose all fees, ESPN reports

Posted at 1:44 PM, Feb 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-27 16:49:30-05

(KGTV) — Three of the country's biggest ticket sellers told Congressional members they would support a mandate to include all ticket fees up front for consumers, ESPN reports.

The current industry standard is to reveal those "all-in" fees to consumers only after they input their personal information, including name, address, and email address, ESPN says. The practice has been called anti-consumer and deceptive by Congressional members.

Amy Howe, Ticketmaster's chief operating officer, told the House Committee on Energy and Commerce that the total ticket price "should be disclosed from the outset, not at the end of the purchase process."

Representatives from Stubhub and AXS also said the companies would support "all-in" pricing.

Stubhub's general counsel Stephanie Burns told the committee that the company tried the pricing strategy in 2014 and 2015, but moved away from it because consumers found it confusing when competitors' prices appeared lower in search engines online.

Committee chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., said he was particularly concerned about higher fees sneaking up on consumers.

"Millions of Americans shop on the internet for tickets," Pallone said. "In some ways, the internet has made this experience more convenient, but it has also led to consumers being ripped off as they try to navigate a ticketing industry that for too long has operated in the dark."

Representatives from the three companies also touched on deceptive websites and venues holding back tickets to increase scarcity. The companies, however, argued over the ease for consumers to digitally transfer tickets regardless of the original site used to purchase tickets.

Currently, a bill in Congress known as the Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing Act is trying to push for new standards in the ticketing industry.