Paperless tickets ‘unjustifiably limit consumer choice’
Written on Fri 20 Jan 2012
A report from the American AntiTrust Institute has called for a government investigation into ‘restrictive’ paperless tickets, which it argues ‘unjustifiably limit consumer choice and depart from bedrock competitive market principles’.
The report looked at the practice of issuing tickets that require the purchaser to present their credit card when they arrive at the show. Ticket companies claim that they do this to prevent touting (scalping). But, the report argues, the real reason is to enable the companies to capture the lucrative secondary market for tickets to their events and ensure that this market does not face competition from independent re-sellers and resale marketplaces. Controlling the secondary market also enables Ticketmaster and its clients to impose price floors on resellers, thereby ensuring that the secondary market does not undermine sales of unsold primary market tickets for the same event.
The report concludes that, by constricting consumer choice, chilling consumer freedom to transact freely with others, and violating reasonable consumer expectations, the adoption of the broad transferability restrictions undermines a free, fair, informed, and competitive market. As the use of restrictive paperless tickets increases, the resulting consumer harm will become even more substantial. And it calls for the US Government to investigate.
The American Antitrust Institute is an independent non-profit education, research and advocacy organization.
You can read the full report at http://www.antitrustinstitute.org/~antitrust/content/aai-white-paper-restrictive-paperless-tickets
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