Ticket law taken at face value

N.Y. senator pushes for legislation that would reform secondary market

As another round of U2 tickets went on sale, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., unveiled legislation Monday to improve fans' chances of getting tickets at face price and crack down on ticket resellers.

The legislation imposes a two-day waiting period from when tickets go on sale via an authorized sales channel before a reseller can buy those tickets to put on the secondary market.

Schumer's legislation is geared to help ensure fans get first crack at good seats at face value before tickets reach the secondary market. It also requires resellers to obtain a federal registration number from the Federal Trade Commission and post that number in conjunction with ticket resales.

Schumer's legislation will be introduced when the Senate goes back in session in two weeks. It must be passed by the House and Senate and signed by President Obama before it becomes law.

Tickets for U2's performances, including the second and final dates in Chicago, Boston and New York, went on sale Monday morning via Ticketmaster. The tour is produced by Live Nation, which has announced a merger with Ticketmaster, pending regulatory approval.

Schumer also said he has discussed his proposed legislation with Ticketmaster, and the company supports his proposal as well as his efforts to reform and bring more transparency to the resale industry. Schumer said he will meet with Ticketmaster and other ticket distributors to discuss a possible code of conduct for reselling in New York and nationwide.

"Ticketmaster recognizes that the ticket-resale industry needs far-reaching changes to better protect consumers and ensure fair access to tickets," Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff said. "Staggering the resale process to commence 48 hours after an on-sale is a very important step in reforming the process and bringing transparency to the on-sale process."

Ray Waddell is an executive director at Billboard.
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