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FTC Sets New June 11 Date for Workshop Examining Online Event Ticket Sales

The Federal Trade Commission announced that a planned workshop in Washington, D.C. aimed at examining consumer protection issues related to the online event ticket marketplace has been rescheduled for June 11, 2019, due to the government shutdown.  (The workshop’s original date was March 27.)

The workshop will feature opening remarks by FTC Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and will bring together a variety of stakeholders, including industry representatives, consumer advocates, trade associations, academics, and government officials, to discuss certain practices in the online event ticket marketplace.  The FTC has indicated that the online event ticket industry has been a frequent topic of consumer and competitor complaints, with the issues arising in connection with online ticket sales frequently involving practices that prevent consumers from obtaining tickets, mislead consumers about price or availability, or mislead consumers about the entity from which they are purchasing.   (In April 2018, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a report titled “Event Ticket Sales: Market Characteristics and Consumer Protection Issues.”)

According to the FTC’s original announcement, the workshop will look at the current state of the online event ticket marketplace, shed light on industry-wide advertising and pricing issues, and explore ways to address deception beyond traditional law enforcement.  The topics that will be covered include:

  • Primary market ticketing: transparency and lack of ticket availability; ticket bots and the Better Online Ticket Sales Act (BOTS Act).

  • Resale ticket market: disclosures of pricing, fees, and speculative tickets; consumer confusion regarding search engine advertisements and websites of resellers versus official primary ticket sellers.

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About this Author

Barbara S. Mishkin, Ballard Spahr, Philadelphia, Deceptive Practices Lawyer, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Gramm Leach Bliley
Of Counsel

Barbara Mishkin focuses on consumer compliance and banking law. The federal laws with which Ms. Mishkin has dealt extensively include the Truth in Lending Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. She also has significant experience with state usury and lender licensing laws, as well as state laws prohibiting unfair and deceptive acts and practices.

American Bar Association, member, Consumer Financial Services Committee;...

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