September 23, 2023
Ticketing business testifies after Ticketmaster’s Taylor Swift live performance debacle
Ticketing business testifies after Ticketmaster’s Taylor Swift live performance debacle
(L-R) Joe Berchtold, president and CFO of Stay Nation Leisure, Inc.; Jack Groetzinger, CEO of SeatGeek; Jerry Mickelson, CEO and president of Jam Productions; Sal Nuzzo, senior vice chairman of the James Madison Institute; Kathleen Bradish, vice chairman for authorized advocacy on the American Antitrust Institute; and singer/songwriter Clyde Lawrence testified earlier than the Senate Judiciary Committee immediately. (Win McNamee/Getty Photographs)

On the Senate Judiciary Committee, lawmakers and consultants are discussing the problem of ticket transferability and whether or not that’s hurting or benefitting customers within the ticketing market.

Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana requested witnesses on the listening to panel if making tickets non-transferable would assist in capping the value of the ticket and removing the problem of bots, which might in flip profit clients.

Whereas Stay Nation President Joe Berchtold supported the suggestion, antitrust professional Kathleen Bradish mentioned such an answer would not get to the guts of the matter as a result of it would not clear up the competitors problem.

“If there have been competitors, if we clear up the competitors problem right here, then clients will get what they need,” she informed lawmakers.

SeatGeek CEO Jack Groetzinger echoed Bradish, and mentioned that in an business that already lacks competitors, “decreasing transferability simply exacerbates the issue.”

“A associated problem is that if the incumbent have been to permit transferability however solely by itself platform,” he added. “It is a option to power all shopper information and all transaction charges onto that platform.”

One other professional on the panel, Sal Nuzzo, additionally disagreed with Kennedy’s proposed resolution, saying that if a buyer buys a ticket, they need to be capable of “switch that ticket on the market charge.”

The secondary market, Nuzzo argued, additionally permits smaller or rising artists “the flexibility to fill these venues” particularly relating to individuals who bought the ticket however are unable to indicate up for particular person causes.

When Sen. Josh Hawley requested Stay Nation’s Berchtold why the manager thinks proscribing the flexibility to switch tickets would assist the client, he pointed to bots.

“Tickets are sometimes underpriced by the artists as a result of they wish to ship worth to the followers. That creates a $5 billion alternative a yr in the USA for the commercial scalping of tickets utilizing bots … and resell them on the secondary (market,)” he mentioned, arguing that this criminality is aided by the benefit of ticket switch possibility.

Hawley responded: “I perceive why the artist would love it, I actually perceive why you want to it. It is not clear to me why it is good for customers.”

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