Today Sen. Scott Wilk (R- Santa Clarita) announced that his legislation to protect consumers from exploitation by the Ticketmaster/Live Nation monopoly cleared its first hurdle.
“I am pro-business, but I am not pro-monopoly and Californians are getting ripped off for simply wanting to see their favorite artist, act or sports team,” Senator Wilk said. “This bill is a first step in protecting consumers from the monopoly that has had a stranglehold on ticket prices for over a decade.”
SB 829 would prohibit exclusivity clauses in contracts between a primary ticket seller and an entertainment venue in the state of California. Preventing this clause would provide venues the autonomy to collaborate with other ticket sellers without the fear of retaliation from large ticket sellers.
Back in 2010, Congress approved the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation. Since then, live music and entertainment fans have expressed outrage over Ticketmaster/Live Nation’s business model – one that has notoriously over-charged fans and made it nearly impossible in some instances for fans to see their favorite artists. Most infamously in November 2022, Taylor Swift fans were put through the wringer trying to purchase tickets for the singer’s “Eras” tour from Ticketmaster. Some spent an entire day waiting in online queues only to encounter website crashes, through-the-roof ticket prices and expensive junk fees.
SB 829 is based on a proposal currently going through the New York legislature, and mirrors what Ticketmaster/Live Nation already did with the government of Ireland in 2020.
“Teddy Roosevelt said, ‘Where a trust becomes a monopoly the state has an immediate right to interfere,’” concluded Senator Wilk. “At the end of the day, ticket buyers and venues have a right to choose who they do business with. This one’s for the Swifties.”