Several concert and venue companies have agreed to show “junk fees” after President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address in February. Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation Entertainment, are a part of the agreement, to end extra fees tacked on at the checkout portion of purchases, often for concert tickets, rentals and resorts.
On Thursday (June 15), Biden led the initiative, inviting representatives from SeatGeek, Airbnb and the aforementioned companies. Ahead of the meeting, Live Nation and SeatGeek agreed to disclose all fees up front for ticket purchases, while Iowa venue XBk is expected to follow suit. In December, Airbnb began to include all fees in the final price. In September, an “all-in pricing experience” will begin across United States concerts and festivals.
“Today’s voluntary actions demonstrate that companies both big and small recognize the importance of providing consumers with honest, up-front all-in pricing, rather than tricking them with surprise fees at the end of checkout,” the White House said in a statement. “It is also just a first step towards addressing junk fees in the economy.”
Biden’s campaign against “junk fees” began nine months ago and reached a tipping point in November during the fiasco over Taylor Swift’s sold-out The Eras Tour. Fans filed multiple lawsuits against Ticketmaster, and a Senate Judiciary hearing involving the company was also held.
“Upfront pricing should be the start of comprehensive ticketing reform that protects consumers from price gouging and deceptive practices by predatory resellers,” said Stephen Parker, the executive director of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), in response to Biden’s meeting.
He continued, “Other needed reforms such as banning speculative tickets and deceptive websites would further protect consumers in the ticketing marketplace. We applaud the president for today’s meeting and look forward to working with his administration and Congress to make comprehensive, bipartisan ticketing reform a reality.”
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