After criticizing Ticketmaster for the Bruce Springsteen ticket fiasco in February, New York Senator Chuck Schumer plans to introduce legislation today that will help curb the secondary-ticket market that frequently drives up prices, the Wall Street Journal reports. Schumer's bill will propose a two-day waiting period between when tickets go on sale to the public and when resellers can sell them through secondary-ticket sites. The plan would apply to TicketsNow, StubHub, eBay and all other vendors.
After the Springsteen incident, in which buyers were incorrectly routed to secondary site TicketsNow to buy resold tickets for escalated prices when regular-priced tickets were still available, Schumer promised to investigate the secondary-ticket market. What he discovered is that many secondary sites often list tickets for concerts and sporting events before the tix are even available to the public. "Buying concert tickets has become like taking a trip back to the Wild West — anything goes," Schumer said, also accusing the resellers of "hoarding" tickets to drive up the price. "Any attempt to keep prices down by the sellers and artists is made impossible.
"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 of the two-day waiting period, adding that he expected the legislation to pass through the appropriate channels by the time baseball playoff tickets go on sale. "This is easy and simple to understand, I think we can get this done quickly."
Surprisingly, Ticketmaster — which owns TicketsNow — backs Schumer's bill. "I am very happy to support Sen. Schumer's thoughtful proposal and leadership on this issue," said Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff, according to the Journal. Incidentally, Schumer was also on the Judiciary Committee that recently presided over the planned Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger, so Schumer's plan might smooth out one of the roadblocks that merger encountered during the sub-hearing.
More fallout from the Springsteen ticket debacle: The United States Department of Justice, the New Jersey Attorney General's office, the Federal Trade Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau have issued subpoenas forcing Ticketmaster and TicketsNow to turn over client information of those who used the secondary site to resell Springsteen tickets, Billboard.biz reports.
• Ticketmaster Reaches Settlement With NJ Attorney General After Springsteen Ticketing Fiasco
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• Bruce Springsteen "Furious" At Ticketmaster, Rails Against Live Nation Merger