Biden to announce Live Nation and Ticketmaster will allow consumers to see all fees upfront
(CNN) — President Joe Biden will announce Thursday that entertainment giant Live Nation (LYV) and ticketing behemoth Ticketmaster have pledged to give US consumers the ability to see the full price of tickets up front, minimizing the frequently frustrating experience of watching additional fees add up late in the checkout process when buying online.
The announcement comes amid increased pressure on the industry from debacles over exorbitant ticketing fees and as the president has urged Congress to pass legislation targeting other hidden costs paid by consumers throughout the economy. It marks Biden’s latest effort to address kitchen table issues as economic concerns remain top of mind for voters heading into the 2024 election.
“President Biden has been working to lower costs for hardworking families by bringing down inflation, capping insulin prices for seniors, and eliminating hidden junk fees,” said National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard in a written statement. “More companies are heeding the President’s call so that Americans know what they’re paying for up front and can save money as a result.”
Biden will convene a roundtable at the White House on Thursday with representatives from companies that either already provide all-in pricing upfront or have agreed to provide that option to customers in the coming months. These include Live Nation, SeatGeek, xBk, Airbnb, the Pablo Center at the Confluence, TickPick, DICE, and the Newport Festivals Foundation.
Some of the commitments that will be announced Thursday include Live Nation’s pledge that in September all tickets sold for its shows through Ticketmaster will show one “clear, total price,” according to the White House. Ticketmaster has also promised to add a feature to allow customers to see the full price upfront for all other tickets sold on its platform. Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged to form Live Nation Entertainment in 2010.
“Live Nation is proud to provide fans with a better ticketing buying experience,” said Tom See Live Nation’s president of venues, in a statement. “We’ll continue advocating for innovations and reforms that protect that amazing connection.”
Additionally, SeatGeek and Iowa-based xBk have pledged to make it easier for people to shop on their platforms based on the full price of the tickets they sell.
“Today’s voluntary actions demonstrate that companies both big and small recognize the importance of providing consumers with honest, up-front all-in pricing, rather than tricking them with surprise fees at the end of checkout. It is also just a first step towards addressing junk fees in the economy,” a White House fact sheet states.
In February, Biden proposed legislation — the Junk Fee Protection Act — to target four types of excessive fees, including: excessive online concert, sporting event and entertainment ticket fees, airline fees for families sitting together on flights, exorbitant early termination fees for TV, phone and internet services, as well as surprise resort and destination fees.
Biden’s Transportation Department also took steps last fall during a meeting of the Competition Council to reduce “unnecessary hidden fees” from airline and travel sites that the president warned were “weighing down family budgets.”