Consumer Federation of California Sponsors Bill To Inject Competition Into Ticketing Marketplace Dominated By Ticketmaster/Live Nation Monopoly

Bill by Assemblymember Wicks supported by fans, artists & community groups; bill opposed by monopoly under federal investigation 

For Immediate Release; April 09, 2024

SACRAMENTO – The Consumer Federation of California (CFC) featured at a press conference Monday regarding a bill authored by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) to inject desperately needed competition into California’s monopolized live event ticketing marketplace. Wicks, CFC and community leaders, fans and musicians joined together to detail the first-in-the-nation legislation providing real competition in buying tickets for live events.

Wicks’ legislation, Assembly Bill 2808, seeks to reduce prices and increase ticket availability. It takes aim at Ticketmaster/Live Nation, which controls 80 percent of primary ticket sales in the United States and an increasingly large portion of secondary market sales. With Ticketmaster’s Taylor Swift ticketing fiasco and while a pending federal Department of Justice investigation continues, California seeks to retake the lead in consumer protection and give consumers actual choice and a break from endless fees when attempting to desperate secure tickets controlled by the monopoly.

“The Consumer Federation of California supports AB 2808 because it strikes at the heart of the monopoly dominating our current ticketing and live entertainment marketplace – a monopoly that limits consumer choice, increases consumer prices and controls consumer decisions about your tickets,” stated CFC Executive Director Robert Herrell. “AB 2808 injects desperately needed choice into the marketplace and the Legislature should pass it and put California back at the top of consumer protection.”

“Instead of only having one choice of where to shop, consumers will have multiple options to purchase tickets; think of it like a or for tickets,” said Wicks. “Companies will have to compete for your business, which will lead to lower fees and better service. Opening retail to competition will also mean more transparency, making it more difficult for fraudulent tickets to be sold.”

Following the Live Nation and Ticketmaster merger in 2010 ticket prices have surged an astronomical 140%, even after adjusting for inflation. Consumer organizations and independent observers note that Live Nation and Ticketmaster routinely violate the Consent Decree that was supposed to govern their behavior since the merger, which has cost fans, artists and small businesses in communities of color billions. Recent documents released by Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-New Jersey) showed that the monopoly has routinely used questionable and arguably illegal accounting practices, given itself back-door payments and bullied event promoters attempting to work in good faith with the monopoly.

Other individuals joining Wicks and CFC at the press unveiling were California Black Chamber of Commerce President and musician Jay King, California LULAC Immediate Past State Director Jose Barrera, and National Action Network’s Sacramento President Dr. Tecoy Porter. All their organizations support Assemblymember Wicks’ bill.

The press conference can be viewed here:

Facebook livestream:

AB 2808 will begin moving through the California Legislature later this month.

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