New Bill in California Aims to Force Ticketmaster to Play Nice With Others

A new bill introduced by California’s senior senator takes aim at Ticketmaster, whose intransigence in the entertainment industry has long plagued concertgoers with fees and out-of-control pricing.

Democrat Buffy Wicks, who currently chairs the Assembly Appropriations Committee, has introduced legislation that her office says will give event-goers more options when it comes to purchasing event tickets. Politico, that was the first to declare at Wicks new rules, describes a process that “could remove restrictions” on reselling tickets while creating more options for consumers. Wicks envisions future events similar to the consumer experience on travel websites, where event-goers choose between a variety of vendors, rather than a single all-powerful platform.

Wicks’ rules have a purpose the word “exclusion”., which has historically allowed platforms like Ticketmaster to book seats, preventing them from partnering with other ticket sellers that would give buyers options. Like other commentators you have noticedTicketmaster’s exclusivity agreements effectively put places on the wall, forcing them to accept the company’s demands or risk not being able to book the big stars that Ticketmaster keeps for themselves.

Wicks Laws, Price of AB2808, was launched in the state of California in February and will force ticket sellers such as Ticketmaster to include an API that allows competing sellers to offer event tickets on their platform. The bill would make it “unlawful” for a ticket provider or venue to “provide [ticketing] service” for “random or discriminatory, as defined,” probably referring to the system by which companies like Ticketmaster sell all tickets. The bill will also liberalize the ticketing market, creating more options for consumers. Companies found in violation are ordered to pay fines.

“We want to make sure we have competition and consumer choice so we don’t have events like Taylor Swift-like ‘Lord of the Flies’ concerts trying to get tickets,” Wicks told Politico.

Ticketmaster has been the go-to place for buying concert and sporting event tickets ever since completed a $2.5 billion merger with Live Nation, a multi-venue operator, in 2010. The merger resulted in the two giants holding hands, making them appear and function as one. Some estimates suggest that the two companies are linked controlling 70 percent of the market for the given activity. Even Ticketmaster has become the scourge of American concert goers for yearsregulators only started listening after the company very upset mega pop star Taylor Swift’s ticket sales Eras journey last year. During the same controversy, Ticketmaster’s website was flooded with so many people that it crashed, causing anger and chaos in the Swiftie community. Soon after, the platform stopped selling tickets for the Eras tour, citing a lack of inventory and angering fans.

Will Wicks’ law take action? It’s hard to say. Laws are passed every day in America and most of them go nowhere. Last year, many California legislators he introduced laws was designed to undermine Ticketmaster’s power over the ticketing industry; all these efforts were thwarted by a massive effort to attract people from the corporate sector.

Gizmodo has contacted Ticketmaster and Wicks for comment and will update this story if they respond.

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