by Ted Mermin [guest post]
Thank you for the guest post on Ticketmaster's anti-competitive
practices. Anyone who has tried to get a ticket to a popular concert or
sporting event recently understands what the problem is. But whether the
organization "Fan Freedom" really represents consumers is a different
question. As the organization's website (very quietly) acknowledges,
"initial funding was
provided by StubHub, a division of eBay." That may or
may not change anyone's feelings about the group's goals, which seem laudable.
But a grassroots effort it's not.
0 thoughts on “More on the ticket industry and consumer protection”
Dear Ted – I saw your post in response to my guest post and I thought it would be helpful to provide some background. Since 2009, NCL has been working to promote the consumer interest in the live event ticketing market. We took a lead in opposing the 2009-10 Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger at DOJ. Unfortunately, that merger was approved, making it all that much more important that consumer organizations scrutinize the business practices of this industry.
NCL — a 114-year old consumer and worker advocacy organization – began working with the Fan Freedom campaign with the consumer interest in mind. NCL’s main concerns- many of which are shared by Fan Freedom, include paperless ticketing, the added fees and charges consumers are expected to pay when buying tickets to events, and the huge number of ticket hold-backs at venues that end up on the secondary market at twice or three times the original price. We feel strongly that this industry should be far more open to public scrutiny.
Fan Freedom is supported by a range of groups across the political spectrum including public interest organizations like Consumer Action, the Florida Consumer Action Network, Michigan Citizen Action and the Ralph Nader-founded League of Fans. A full list of supporter organizations is available at http://www.fanfreedom.org/about-fan-freedom. In addition, the Consumer Federation of America recently passed a policy resolution opposing restrictions on live event ticketing. Finally, Fan Freedom has been supported in its state-level advocacy by groups like the Consumers League of New Jersey and the Florida Association of Nonprofits as well as more than 150,000 individual consumers.
To your point, Fan Freedom is indeed supported by eBay/StubHub (a point I made clear in my guest blog). Where the interests of consumers and StubHub intersect – and they do here much of the time- we are more than happy to work with FF. Consumers will all benefit from an open, transparent and competitive market for event tickets, a goal shared by FF, NCL and many others.
– John Breyault, Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications and Fraud – National Consumers League