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Australia Weighs New Anti-Scalping Rules

SYDNEY, Australia (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Australia has announced a strict new anti-scalping regulations that have some ticket vendors up in arms.

The new regulations require resellers to provide full information on tickets up for resale, including photographic proof. The rules also stipulate the that resale price cannot exceed 10% of the face value of the ticket. Resale websites will be forced to remove sellers who do not comply with these new rules, or face fines of up to $5,500, the Telegraph reported.

“These new laws will improve transparency in the marketplace, protect consumers and allow the event organizer to enforce their terms and conditions to protect genuine fans from ticket scalping and fraud,” ,” NSW Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts said in a statement.

Not everyone is as enthusiastic about the proposed regulations. In a statement, Christoph Homann, Managing Director of Resale for Ticketmaster Int’l, said “The NSW government’s proposed secondary ticket legislation will neither protect fans nor stop scamming.” Homann went on to suggest that the new regulations would force legitimate resellers and buyers into “back alleys.” According to Homann, the best approach to reduce scalping is industry self-regulation.

"The best way to protect fans, stop scalpers and curb the growth of unscrupulous resale websites is for the industry to take the lead,” Homann said in a statement.

Ticketmaster's objection to the new rules is not surprising as the company's secondary ticket market profits are would be hindered by the cap on ticket prices. The company collects a percentage-based commission on all tickets sold through their secondary market service with the overall secondary ticket market in Australia estimated to be worth as much as $400 million a year.

Other companies in the sector are welcoming the new rules.

"Frontier Touring is thrilled to see the introduction of these reforms. For too long scalpers have been able to hide behind anonymity online. Music should empower and real artists do not want to see their fans ripped off," said Michael Gudinski, Managing Director of Frontier Touring. – Staff Writers