House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee hears testimony on Matzie bill to ban ‘speculative ticketing’

Would prohibit ticket resellers from listing concert tickets they do not yet have

HARRISBURG, Sept. 7 – The House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee held a public hearing today to consider Majority Chairman Rob Matzie’s legislation to ban “speculative ticketing,” a practice that allows ticket sellers to list concert tickets for resale even though they have not yet obtained – and may never obtain – those tickets.

Matzie said his H.B. 1658 would impose penalties for the predatory practice, which misleads consumers into believing they have purchased a valid ticket when they have not and often leaves them empty-handed and without recourse after a reseller who speculated they could obtain the ticket failed to do so.

“Speculative ticketing is not only deceitful, but it is inherently unfair to fans and consumers,” Matzie said. “You should know – without a shadow of a doubt – who you are buying a ticket from and that the ticket is in the possession of the seller. House Bill 1658 addresses a simple question: How can you sell something that you do not have?”

The committee heard testimony by representatives from the music industry and concert venues about how speculative ticketing is hurting consumers, inflating ticket prices, eroding consumer confidence, injuring the reputation of concert venues, hurting local businesses, and tarnishing the relationship between musicians and fans, among other consequences.

Matzie said organizations including the Better Business Bureau, Ticketmaster, Live Nation, and the National Independent Venue Association have all issued warnings about speculative ticketing.