TORONTO, Ontario (CelebrityAccess) – The government of Ontario is taking aim at the secondary ticket market with plans to implement sweeping legislation that includes secondary market price caps and a ban on bots. front, including surcharges.
According to the Toronto Star, the proposed legislation will implement a price cap of 50% of the face value on resale tickets and would require ticket resellers to disclose the 'all-in price' of tickets, disclosing surcharges and fees before a transaction is initiated.
As well, the proposed legislation would ban the use of automated software to purchase tickets for resale on secondary market sites.
“We are putting the fans in the driver’s seat — we are giving them sufficient information and making sure that they’ve got a fair shot at buying tickets at a reasonable price,” Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi told reporters during a press conference on Monday, the Toronto Star said.
The move by the provincial government to crack down on perceived secondary market abuses follows widespread public discontent over the availability of tickets to the Tragically Hip’s farewell concert. The concert sold out in minutes, but tickets to the event quickly cropped up on secondary market sites at a steep premium.
The province plans to introduce the new legislation this fall, the Star reported.
Not everyone is an advocate for regulation of the secondary market. Ryerson Professor Steve Tissenbaum, of the Ted Rogers School of Management, suggested that the proposed legislation, while 'well meaning' was ultimately futile.
"You can certainly put some pressure on the sellers and try and control pricing, but it’s an open market out there and the Internet makes it very much a free market,” Tissenbaum told the Star.
Others, such as Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino have echoed Tissenbaum's views. In April, while attending Canadian Music Week in Toronto, Rapino said that he viewed plans in the U.S. and Canada to try to regulate the secondary market as "unrealistic" and that he favored market-based solutions.
“As long as the market’s gigantic, you’ll have sophisticated players trying to figure out how to monetize it. My instincts are always on the free market,” Rapino said.