Ticket companies backing federal law requiring them to disclose all extra fees up front

Yahoo Sports
A federal mandate would require ticket selling companies to disclose all fees up front instead of at the end. (AP/David J. Phillip)
A federal mandate would require ticket selling companies to disclose all fees up front instead of at the end. (AP/David J. Phillip)

Extra, hidden fees could soon be a thing of the past.

Three of the biggest ticket sellers in the United States told a congressional committee on Wednesday that they would back a federal requirement to disclose “all-in” prices on their platforms — which would show fans the total price of the ticket first, instead of at the end of the transaction, according to ESPN.

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Ticketmaster, StubHub and AXS all told the House Committee on Energy and Commerce that they would support the law in the hearing, which was focused on speculative ticket sales, deceptive websites and hidden fees.

“[The total ticket price] should be disclosed from the outset, not at the end of the purchase process,” Ticketmaster CEO Amy Howe said, via ESPN, adding that she feels there should be “robust enforcement of this requirement.”

According to ESPN, most of the major ticketing companies added extra fees ranging from eight percent to 40 percent only after customers input their personal information. StubHub said it attempted to use the “all-in” pricing model in 2014 and 2015, per the report, but stopped because they said it confused customers. It also made its prices look much higher than its competitors.

The committee also discussed issues with fraudulent tickets for sale online, and speculative ticket sales — when someone lists a ticket for sale before actually possessing it. Per ESPN, this practice caused Seattle Seahawks fans to lose more than $1 million on tickets for Super Bowl XLIX in 2015.

"Millions of Americans shop on the internet for tickets," committee chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) said, via ESPN. "In some ways, the internet has made this experience more convenient, but it has also led to consumers being ripped off as they try to navigate a ticketing industry that for too long has operated in the dark."

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