Ticketmaster, SeatGeek, Live Nation agree to disclose fees upfront (thanks, Biden)

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Ticketmaster, SeatGeek, Live Nation and other companies have agreed to disclose ticket prices upfront, putting an end to the extra fees that consumers can’t see until the end of the billing process.

President Joe Biden held a meeting on Thursday to announce the good news. Biden said that the solution to what he calls “junk fees” is all-in pricing. “That’s where companies fully disclose their fees upfront when you start shopping, so you’re not surprised at the end when you check out,” Biden explained.

“Junk fees are not a matter for the wealthy very much, but they’re a matter for working folks, like the homes I grew up in,” he added. “And they can add hundreds of dollars a month and make it harder for families to pay their bills. I think it’s just wrong.”

The move comes on the heels of Ticketmaster receiving backlash from senators in January after many fans were unable to purchase tickets to Taylor Swift’s tour due to technical issues. Plus, the company has been criticized for years for its unreasonable high service charges and fees.

Starting this September, Ticketmaster will commit to displaying the full price of tickets. Live Nation – which owns Ticketmaster – said it would roll out the same feature at the over 200 venues it controls. SeatGeek, which allows customers to resell tickets, is also set to launch a tool that reveals all-in costs. The companies were already forced to have upfront pricing in New York, which was the first state to ban hidden costs for live events in 2022.

Biden also acknowledged platforms that have always been forthright in their pricing process, including TickPick and Dice.

Biden has repeatedly spoken of his plan to crack down on junk fees across multiple industries. Last year, his administration said, in addition to ticketing platforms, it was also taking a closer look at cable companies, hotels and airlines.

For instance, in May, Biden proposed a rule that requires airlines to provide funds or additional compensation like travel vouchers if a flight is canceled. In addition, the Department of Transportation proposed new regulations last year that would require airlines and online booking services to show accurate prices that include baggage and other fees.

Separately, Airbnb has given customers the option of seeing all-in prices since last year. The online marketplace launched a new toggle that shows customers the total price of their stay, including service and cleaning fees.

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