Ticket Sellers Show Support for All-in Pricing Mandate to Disclose Fees Upfront

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IFebruary 27, 2020

LYON, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 26: General view of Groupama Stadium during the warm up before the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Olympique Lyon and Juventus at Parc Olympique on February 26, 2020 in Lyon, France. (Photo by RvS.Media/Monika Majer/Getty Images)
RvS.Media/Monika Majer/Getty Images

Buying tickets online could soon be simplified. 

According to ESPN's Tisha Thompson, three of the U.S.'s largest ticket sellers voiced to a Congressional committee on Wednesday their support for a federal mandate to list the full price of tickets, including fees, upfront—or "all-in ticket prices."

Those three companies were AXS, Ticketmaster and Stubhub. 

As it is now, ticket vendors wait until a purchaser has entered his or her personal information before displaying the final price after ticketing fees. For example, a ticket can be listed as $50 at the start of a transaction only for a consumer to realize it is $65 with added fees at checkout.

"The hearing centered on three common practices: speculative ticket sales, deceptive websites and hidden fees. The practices came up in a vast majority of consumer complaints between 2012 and 2017, according to a nationwide analysis of reports to state attorneys general conducted by ESPN," Thompson wrote.

The Hill's Chris Mills Rodrigo relayed part of the opening remarks by Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee: "Unfortunately, the industry's online financial success has often been at the expense of the consumer. ... While it is certainly easier to buy tickets to live events today, online ticketing sales have led to anti-consumer practices across the industry." 

Rodrigo also noted the five issues DeGette raised were high hidden fees, restrictions on transferring tickets, the lack of transparency on how many tickets are available, fraudulent 'white label' websites and speculative ticket sales.

StubHub previously used all-in pricing for two years before stopping in 2015 "because rivals' tickets appeared to be cheaper and so [StubHub's] market share diminished," per Reuters (h/t New York Times).

Mandating all-in pricing across the board could solve that concern and create a more transparent ticketing marketplace.

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