President Joe Biden is set to make a significant announcement on Thursday, revealing that Live Nation, a prominent entertainment company, and Ticketmaster, a leading ticketing platform, have committed to providing American consumers with transparent pricing. This move eliminates the frustrating experience of encountering hidden fees during online ticket purchasing.
The decision comes when the industry faces criticism over excessively high ticketing fees. Additionally, President Biden has been urging Congress to pass legislation that addresses hidden costs affecting consumers across various sectors of the economy. This latest development underscores Biden’s ongoing efforts to tackle everyday economic concerns, particularly with the upcoming 2024 election.
In a written statement, National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard claimed, “President Biden has been working to lower costs for hardworking families by bringing down inflation, capping insulin prices for seniors, and eliminating hidden junk fees. More companies are heeding the President’s call so that Americans know what they’re paying for upfront and can save money as a result.”
President Biden has arranged a roundtable discussion at the White House on Thursday, bringing together representatives from several companies that have either already implemented transparent, all-in pricing or have committed to offering this option to customers shortly. Among the participants are Live Nation, SeatGeek, xBk, Airbnb, the Pablo Center at the Confluence, TickPick, DICE, and the Newport Festivals Foundation.
Biden Administration Applauds Industry Commitments to Transparent Ticket Pricing
Various commitments will be announced during the roundtable, including Live Nation’s assurance that all tickets sold for their shows through Ticketmaster will display a single, easily understandable price starting in September. Furthermore, Ticketmaster has pledged to introduce a feature that enables customers to view the total cost upfront for all other tickets available on their platform. It is worth noting that Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged in 2010, forming Live Nation Entertainment.
Tom See, the president of venues at Live Nation, expressed the company’s pride in providing fans with an enhanced ticket-purchasing experience. He emphasized Live Nation’s commitment to advocating for innovative measures and reforms safeguarding the incredible connection between artists and their audiences.
In addition, SeatGeek and xBk, a company based in Iowa, have made commitments to enhance the shopping experience on their platforms by providing customers with a clear understanding of the total ticket price.
According to a fact sheet released by the White House, these voluntary actions from companies of various sizes demonstrate their recognition of the importance of upfront, transparent pricing. This approach aims to prevent customers from being surprised by hidden fees during checkout. However, these efforts are just the initial steps toward addressing high costs in the broader economy.
President Biden’s Efforts to Address Excessive Fees and Hidden Charges
In February, President Biden proposed the Junk Fee Protection Act, a proposed legislation targeting four categories of excessive fees. These include excessive costs associated with online concert tickets, sporting events, and entertainment, airline charges for families seeking to sit together on flights, excessively high early termination fees for TV, phone, and internet services, and unexpected fees imposed by resorts and destinations.
Furthermore, the Transportation Department under President Biden’s administration took measures in the previous autumn during a meeting of the Competition Council to reduce unnecessary hidden fees on airline and travel websites. President Biden highlighted that such fees burdened family budgets and must be addressed.
The voluntary actions taken by these companies align with President Biden’s efforts to prioritize consumer protection and address hidden fees across various sectors. The aim is to ensure that customers understand the total cost upfront rather than being surprised by additional expenses during checkout.
President Biden’s proposed legislation, the Junk Fee Protection Act, targets excessive fees in four specific areas:
- Exorbitant online ticket fees for concerts, sports events, and entertainment.
- Airline fees prevent families from sitting together on flights.
- High early termination fees for TV, phone, and internet services.
- Unexpected resort and destination fees.