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Biden Announces Crackdown on Hidden Ticketing Fees

Joe Biden has announced that he's going to crack down on hidden ticketing fees, and it's about time! Read the full story.

Tim Bishop
Tim Bishop
November 10, 2022
5
min read
The White HouseThe White House
SeatlabNFT

An NFT event ticketing marketplace helping artists foster closer connections with fans, eliminating fraud and reducing the impact of scalping.

If you're into live events at all, you probably already know that the process of buying tickets could be better.

We've covered in detail the fury at dynamic pricing and how the price of a ticket can skyrocket in the time it takes just to complete the checkout process. But in good news for consumers, US President Joe Biden announced last week that his administration would be looking to crack down on hidden fees in event ticketing and other industries.

Tweeting on November 3rd, President Biden called hidden concert fees "unfair" and "deceptive".

This isn't the first time that a government has tried to take on the big players in the ticketing industry, though.

Since the merger of Ticketmaster with Live Nation in 2010, the events giant has repeatedly found itself involved in legal issues surrounding hidden fees, price fixing and anti-competitive practices.

This year in March, two senators wrote to the US Justice Department, also asking them to

investigate potential anti-competitive actions against Live Nation.

Live Nation strongly denies any claims of wrongdoing and has indeed won several of the cases filed against them, but accusations of extremely questionable behaviour remain.

Given the seemingly unstoppable march of Live Nation and Ticketmaster, will Joe Biden be the one to put a dent in their operations?

Crackdown on Hidden Fees

As a part of the process leading up to last week's announcement, Biden and his administration looked at hidden fees across various industries, including banking and overdraft fees which they estimate cost consumers $1 billion each year.

But the social post announcement on Twitter firmly cited the ticketing industry's hidden fees as taking money out of people's pockets.

It's worth noting at this stage that the hidden fees President Biden referred to are in addition to the lack of transparency provided by dynamic pricing. That's because dynamic pricing affects the ticket price, raising prices in line with demand, but additional hidden fees can be tacked on to make up a good percentage of the total cost.

And this, unfortunately, is where part of the problem lies. The Processing Fee, Service Fee and Facility Charge are vague and non-descriptive and come on top of the already high price of a ticket.

Of course, ticketing platforms have to earn their fee. After all, they are providing a service. But the issue is that these fees are often confusing, hidden, and can seem really over-inflated.

Sadly, vague and highly-priced fees have become standard in many industries.

Whether or not the Biden administration manages to address hidden service costs in any industry is yet to be seen. Still, previous governmental challenges to the Live Nation status quo have been limited in their success.

The handful of big-name companies that own the vast majority of the event ticketing market makes it hard to see a clear solution under the current model.

The lack of transparency in event ticketing is a disservice to performers and an affront to the fans trying to see them.

Transparent Ticketing

With Web3, though, things can be different.

Blockchain networks provide a platform with transparency and trust at their core. NFT tickets can be tracked, verified and authenticated on the blockchain with full transparency.

On SeatlabNFT, there are no hidden charges, ever. Instead, we're building a platform to connect fans with the artists and performers they love. One way we do this is through our transparent low-fee structure.

Selling tickets on SeatlabNFT is free. That's because we wanted to make the benefits of NFT ticketing accessible to artists and event organisers of all sizes.

For fans, to make event ticketing affordable once more, our standard booking fee is 6.5%, one of the lowest in the ticketing industry. But with $SEAT, we've taken it one step further.

Holding $SEAT gives fans access to a discounted booking fee.

At SeatlabNFT, we're happy to be transparent about our fees because we've deliberately kept them as low as possible. It's just one way we're helping redefine the event ticketing industry.

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