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Ticketmaster, other ticket sales giants to announce pledge to show ‘clear, total price’ upfront

The announcement comes as part of the administration’s commitment to end so-called junk fees in an effort to lower costs for Americans.
/ Source: NBC News

President Joe Biden on Thursday will announce that ticket sales giants Ticketmaster and Live Nation have pledged to provide consumers with full pricing upfront, ending surprise fees at checkout during online purchases.

Biden is scheduled to convene a roundtable at the White House on Thursday with companies that have committed to disclose fees to consumers upfront. The roundtable will include representatives from Live Nation, SeatGeek, xBk, Airbnb, TickPick, DICE, the Newport Festivals Foundation and the Pablo Center at the Confluence.

Live Nation Entertainment formed a merger with Ticketmaster in 2010. According to the White House, Live Nation is set to pledge that all tickets for its shows sold through Ticketmaster will show one “clear, total price” starting in September. Ticketmaster will also add a feature that allows consumers the option to view upfront pricing for all other tickets sold on the platform.

Other ticketing platforms such as SeatGeek and xBk have pledged to introduce options for consumers to view full pricing, the White House said.

“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,” Lael Brainard, the director of the National Economic Council, said in a statement. “More companies are heeding the President’s call so that Americans know what they’re paying for up front and can save money as a result.”

The announcement comes after the Biden administration began its push to crack down on so-called “junk fees” charged by banks and other companies before the midterm elections last year as part of an effort to lower costs for Americans amid record-high inflation.

Biden highlighted his pledge in his State of the Union address in February, urging the passage of a bill to prevent “junk fees” and hidden surcharges. The president also called on Congress to pass legislation called the Junk Fee Protection Act to address excessive fees on concerts, sporting and entertainment events, and airline fares.

The White House in March also urged states to expand their efforts to crack down on surprise fees consumers are forced to pay on everything from rental housing to cable bills.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing in January to examine Ticketmaster’s outsize role in the ticketing industry in the wake of last year’s Taylor Swift concert debacle involving long wait times and technical issues. Ticketmaster canceled the public sale of tickets to the tour at the time, citing “extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand.”

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