On Wednesday, the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Oversight & Investigations subcommittee held a hearing that saw executives from Ticketmaster, StubHub, AXS, and more testify before Congress on the issues plaguing the ticketing industry.
The hearing, dubbed In the Dark: Lack of Transparency in the Live Event Ticketing Industry, acted as an investigation that will influence the subcommittee’s future regulation recommendations regarding the ticket markets.
Testifying executives included Ticketmaster President and COO Amy Howe, AXS CEO Bryan Perez, and StubHub VP and general counsel Stephanie Burns. Their testimonies focused on five key areas: high hidden fees, ticket transfer restrictions, transparency about ticket availability, white-label websites, and the selling of speculative tickets.
While they all seemed supportive of the subcommittee’s concerns and proposed best practices, it’s clear that their lack of implementation was the cause of this hearing in the first place. For example, Amy Howe said in her opening statement that the total ticket price, face plus fees, “should be disclosed from the outset, not at the end of the purchase process.” She went on to say that Ticketmaster supports legislation “mandating industry-wide all-in pricing and [believes] that there should be robust enforcement of this requirement.”
Of course, if Ticketmaster believes that this practice should be implemented industry-wide, it begs the question of why they wouldn’t take the lead in disclosing the all-in costs to their customers without government intervention.
Many of the other executives had similarly perplexing comments and stances on the issues. They all generally agreed with the committee’s concerns. Their actions thus far, however, have indicated that they would have no problems continuing with business as usual had they not been called to this hearing.
Below, watch the executives from Ticketmaster, StubHub, and more testify before Congress.
House Energy & Commerce Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee Hearing
[Video: Fox Business]
This hearing came just one day after news broke that two scalpers in the U.K. received over six years in prison for selling more than ten million dollars worth of concert and theater show tickets. While bands like Rage Against The Machine and Pearl Jam have developed their own methods of limiting scalpers, the country’s largest ticket sellers have disregarded the issue thus far.
Head here for more information about the House Energy & Commerce Oversight & Investigations’ stance on the subject.