Continuing to ride the wave of popular support that greeted his outrage at Ticketmaster over sales of tickets for the upcoming Bruce Springsteen tour, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is proposing legislation to crack down on the secondary ticket market/insidious scalping machine and improve fans' chances of buying a list-price seat to major shows.
Billboard magazine reports that the law would impose a two-day waiting period after ticket on-sales before resellers can list those seats at exorbitantly jacked-up prices on the Web. The scalpers... er, resellers... also would have to secure a registration number from the Federal Trade Commission and post it on brokerage Web sites along with seats they're trying to sell.
According to Billboard, Schumer¹s legislation will be introduced when the Senate reconvenes later this month. Yet while the law would seem to be a step in the right direction, something must be wrong with it, since Ticketmaster is supporting it.
"I am very happy to support Sen. Schumer's thoughtful proposal and leadership on this issue," Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff told Billboard. "Ticketmaster recognizes that the ticket resale industry needs far-reaching changes to better protect consumers and ensure fair access to tickets. Staggering the resale process to commence 48 hours after a (sale) is a very important step in reforming the process and bringing transparency to the (sale) process."
Ticketmaster no doubt would love to see secondary market sites such as StubHub and Craig's List out of the game... but only so it could corner the resale market with its own secondary site, TicketsNow.
(P.S. -- A few words about the word "scalping": No offense intended to Native American readers; as a student of history, I am well aware that the nasty act actually began in Europe and that the original residents of this fine land learned it from immigrant settlers, explorers and soldiers. In fact, some historians say the practice can be dated back to that bastion of higher civilization, ancient Greece. But alas, there are no images of Greek scalping anywhere on the Web.)