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New Jersey Congressman Reintroduces Bill To Regulate Ticket Market

NEWARRK, NJ (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — A New Jersey legislator has re-introduced a bill that would provide for sweeping regulation of the primary and secondary ticket market.

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ)'s bill, called the BOSS ACT (Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing Act) is aimed at attempting to provide transparency and consumer protections in the live event ticketing business.

Pascrell initially introduced the legislation in 2009 following a controversial sale of tickets to Bruce Springsteen shows, including one at New Jersey's Izod Center that saw consumers automatically redirected from Ticketmaster's website to secondary market sites where tickets were offered above face value. Ticketmaster later claimed that this was a software glitch but settled with the Federal Trade Commission over the incident.

According to the Paramus Post, the revised bill features several new rules aimed at the primary market including requirements for ticket sellers to reveal the total number of tickets offered for sale, as well as the number of holds, including identifying what they are being held for. The act also requires that all ancillary charges are included in the ticket price, as well print those prices on each ticket. In addition, the seller would be required to refund all charges in the event of a cancelation.

The bill would also prevent registered ticket brokers from purchasing tickets on the primary market for 48 hours after the initial on-sale date.

Rules aimed at the secondary market include requirements that secondary ticket sellers register with the FTC; that they disclose the face value of the ticket up for sale; how it was obtained; and if they actually possess the ticket at the time of sale.

The legislation would also put an end to primary ticketing companies, artists, promoters and their employees selling tickets to events they are involved in hosting, promoting, performing in, or ticketing for more than face value; or reselling tickets to parties with actual knowledge that they have the intention of reselling for higher than face value. Artists, promoters, venues, and primary ticketing sites would also be required to reveal when they are selling tickets directly through secondary market services.

New additions to the revised bill include provisions that would ban the use of ticket buying 'bot' software designed to circumvent primary ticketing site security and create a new Justice Department task force to investigate such crimes. The bill also includes provisions that would make paperless ticketing more consumer-friendly by creating barriers to scalpers, including allowing transferable paperless tickets one free transfer at face value.

Pascrell announced the reintroduction of the legislation on Wednesday outside of Newark's Prudential Center, just hours ahead of a Bruce Springsteen concert.

"Bruce is pretty popular around these parts, and he's got millions of fans who would love to see the shows. But those fans are not who managed to scoop up all the seats," said Pascrell. " Before this show even went on sale, sites like Stubhub and TicketNetwork had scalped tickets for this show listed for sale for hundreds of dollars. Yesterday, tickets in the lower level were listed on StubHub for over $10,000! Where does this end? How is the average guy or gal supposed to compete? Are only people who can afford a $10,000 ticket supposed to be able to see the Boss?" – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers