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Live Nation and Ticketmaster to start showing hidden ticket costs

It’s never fun when you buy a concert ticket for $30, only to find out it actually costs three times that after an endless series of amorphous fees. This has been at the heart of consumer revolt against companies like Ticketmaster for decades, and now things actually may be changing.

Ticketmaster and Live Nation are pledging to give US consumers the actual price of a ticket before they make a purchase, and not the fairyland price they use to lure in customers. President Biden is expected to officially announce the move during a meeting with live entertainment industry leaders later this afternoon, as originally reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Biden has made this a crucial element of his “kitchen table” economic agenda since announcing he’d be putting pressure on companies to eliminate hidden fees and surcharges during February’s State of the Union address. Live Nation Entertainment, the company formed via a merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster, has officially committed to making these transparency changes by September.

Though Live Nation/Ticketmaster has committed to the change, promising a “clear, total price”, Biden is heading up a roundtable discussion later today at the White House to encourage other companies like SeatGeek, Airbnb, DICE and many more to do the same. It’s expected that most companies attending the roundtable will make some kind of commitment toward consumer transparency. Airbnb has been especially unfriendly toward consumers in this respect, with all of those mysterious cleaning fees, but began addressing the issue of transparency late last year.

“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. It is also just a first step towards addressing junk fees in the economy,” the White House said in a statement.

While these changes don’t eliminate junk fees (corporations gonna corporate) they do give consumers vital information that allows them to make informed purchase decisions, which is a start. Back in February, Biden proposed legislation called the Junk Fee Protection Act to actually reduce the presence of these hidden fees, including excessive charges when purchasing digital tickets to concerts and sporting events. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced similar legislation in Congress, but it hasn’t come up for a vote.

Ticketmaster recently came under fire after running into a host of issues when selling Taylor Swift tickets for her “Eras” tour, leading to customers experiencing website outages, a preponderance of bots and extreme wait times. The company eventually canceled the sale altogether, due to not having enough supply to fill demand. This lead to a Senate hearing addressing the company’s perceived monopolistic behaviors.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/live-nation-and-ticketmaster-to-start-showing-hidden-ticket-costs-170552346.html?src=rss

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