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The BOSS Act Resurrected In Congress, Takes Aim At The ‘Wild West’ Ticketing Industry

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WASHINGTON D.C. (CelebrityAccess) — On the heels of the Tuesday’s Federal Trade Commission workshop, in which participants called for tougher enforcement measures against ticket ‘bots’, three U.S. congressmen have reintroduced the Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing (BOSS) Act.

The legislation, which was reintroduced by U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) is aimed at creating a more transparent ticket marketplace for consumers, with new requirements for both primary and secondary market vendors.

Under the new legislation, primary market sellers would be required to disclose the total number of tickets for sale to the general within 7 days of going on sale and compels them to disclose all ancillary charges for a ticket at the outset of sale.

As well, all ancillary charges will be required to be included in any ticket refund, and a refund policy must be disclosed and guaranteed at the time of sale. Primary sellers would also be required to allow ticketbuyers to resell their tickets and would be barred from imposing a price floor on ticket resales.

The legislation also takes aim at the secondary market and would require that secondary market services verify that the reseller is in possession of the ticket or has provided a clear path to a refund if the promised ticket is not delivered and

Secondary marketplaces will also be required to provide ‘all in’ pricing at the start of the sale process.

Online resale marketplace will also be required to disclose when a secondary market reseller is the primary ticket seller, venue, team, or artist associated with the event and to disclose the face value of the ticket for sale. As well, the legislation would bar ticket resales by primary ticket sellers, teams, artists, online resale marketplaces, or box offices that are involved in hosting, promoting, performing in, or selling tickets to an event at a markup.

“Even though it’s 2019, the $9 Billion live events ticket market resembles the Wild West: bereft of regulation and order, with bad actors around too many corners making a living by ripping people off,” said Rep. Pascrell. “The BOSS Act would finally impose hard regulation and transparency to the ticket market so that fans can find affordable tickets and enjoy some live entertainment in these uneasy times without fear of being taken to the cleaners. American have been gouged and gouged and then gouged some more. Ticket buyers don’t know how many tickets are going on sale or how many are being held back, can’t see what fees will be tacked on, and sometimes don’t even know if the tickets they are purchasing exist yet. For too long on these issues, our government has failed to hear the ghost of Tom Joad, the common man and woman. It’s high time government stands up for him and for them. My legislation is for the fans, not Ticketmaster.”

“This essential bill guarantees consumers protection and transparency when purchasing tickets to their favorite live events,” said Sen. Blumenthal. “Hidden fees and other tactics used widely to gouge fans should not be a part of the concert experience. With the passage of this bill, we can remove the veil around the ticket-buying process, allowing hard-working Americans the opportunity to simply enjoy the show.”

“The ticket marketplace badly needs updated rules of the road to ensure it’s fair, transparent, and working for consumers,” added Chairman Pallone. “That’s why I’m proud to be an original co-sponsor of Rep. Pascrell’s BOSS Act, which assures that consumers will be protected when buying tickets from ticket sellers and resellers. I thank Rep. Pascrell for his longstanding leadership on this important issue to New Jerseyans and all Americans. “

While the BOSS Act seems unlikely to find much traction in the current configuration of the Senate, the bill has already garnered support from numerous consumer groups, including the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB).

“The BOSS Act is the kind of law that will help protect competition in the resale marketplace so that consumers have more than one expensive and overbearing source from which to shop for or resell their tickets. Plus, it promotes transparency which is vital to a consumer-friendly ticket industry and will generally help make the experience less confusing and frustrating for fans,” said Gary Adler, Executive Director and Counsel for the NATB.

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