There’s A Global Ticket Scalping Investigation Underway, But Resale Outlets Don’t Seem Too Concerned

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Leading ticket resale outlets have welcomed the international investigation set in motion earlier this month by three influential consumer groups.

Fronted by Australian advocates Choice – who last month slammed a number of sites for misleading, unethical and “illegal” practices – the in-depth look into the industry includes Consumer NZ and Britain’s Which? all collecting fan and industry data via an online survey.

“It seems profiteering scalpers have moved their business to the very platforms which were designed to thwart them,” Choice’s survey reads.

Named on the Choice survey, Ticketmaster Resale – who reported more than $1bn in secondary sales last year – told The Music they welcomed the investigation.

“We look forward to working with them as we are the leading example of good practice and consumer protection,” a Ticketmaster spokesperson said.

“Ticketmaster Resale is a clearly branded ticket resale marketplace where sellers and buyers of tickets are connected in a safe and secure environment.”

Live Nation owns Ticketmaster, and speaking with The Globe last week, president/CEO Michael Rapino said it was “so unrealistic” to fight the resale market with legislation.

“I think some of these [legislative changes and suggestions around the world] are decent attempts, but I don’t think over all, until you start pricing the product better, and/or have better technology to deliver the fan their ticket, that you’ll start to make a difference,” Rapino said.

“My instincts are always on the free market.”

Gumtree’s statement echoed that of Ticketmaster, with spokesperson Kirsty Dunn telling The Music they look “forward to seeing the results of the investigation”.

“Gumtree does not support ticket touts or scalpers and ads not containing the face value of the ticket may be removed.”

Music Glue is an online platform with bases in Sydney, London and New York, and CEO Mark Meharry told The Music the investigation was much needed.

“We fully support this initiative and it adds weight to the pressure already exerted on governments across the globe to do something about this plague,” Meharry said.

“Secondary ticketing is a perfect example of ‘Market Failure’ … the market itself is incapable of rectifying the situation (because the incumbents benefit from the failure) and the only possible resolution to the “net social welfare loss” is with regulation.”

In March, the Australian Senate passed an amended motion to introduce new anti-scalping legislation, following the UK cracking down last year and today passing a new law.

Choice, Consumer NZ and Which? have plans to publish an international report on the ticket resale industry with their findings.