New California Bill Would End Exclusive Control of Event Ticket Sales

New California Bill Would End Exclusive Control of Event Ticket Sales

People demonstrate against the live entertainment ticket industry outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 24, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

4/5/2024

Updated: 4/5/2024

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California legislators have introduced a bill that would end exclusive control for companies like Ticketmaster over event ticket sales.
Assembly Bill 2808, introduced in February by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, would lift restrictions on reselling tickets and provide fans more choice in purchasing concert or sporting event tickets through various companies.
“Access to entertainment shouldn’t be an equity issue, available only to those who are wealthy, connected or privileged [with] their time,” Ms. Wicks said in an April 1 post on X. “It’s time to level the playing field for fans [with] my new bill ... the nation’s first to require competition [at] the first point of ticket sales.”
Often fans can only buy tickets through one company, which has an exclusive contract with the venue.
Ticketmaster, along with its parent company, Live Nation Entertainment, have been criticized for years by those who say it has a monopoly over the ticket sales market and therefore, can inflate prices.
In 2022, Ticketmaster came under fire for its handling of concert pre-sale tickets for pop star Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour—which prompted a Senate hearing and an antitrust investigation from the U.S. Department of Justice that is still ongoing.
Because it was the only website where fans could purchase tickets to Ms. Swift’s concert, millions logged on when tickets went on pre-sale, causing the website to crash within an hour, Variety reported in 2022.
Some users also reported their Ticketmaster website accounts being frozen or logged out and complained of poor customer service when they called for help.
Additionally, some ticket resellers bought a mass amount of tickets from Ticketmaster and put them on resell websites for inflated prices.
“We want to make sure that we have competition and choice for consumers, so we don’t end up with situations like the Taylor Swift concerts—like ‘Lord of the Flies’ attempts to get tickets,” Ms. Wicks said, according to political news website Politico.
The bill was referred to the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, and Tourism April 1 and will be heard in committee in the coming weeks.
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Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

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Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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