Wilk’s bill to break up Ticketmaster monopoly unanimously passes Senate

Politics and government
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News release 

Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced Tuesday his legislation to loosen the stranglehold companies like Live Nation/Ticketmaster have on the ticket-selling industry unanimously passed out of the California State Senate.  

“For over a decade companies like Live Nation have lured venues into signing exclusive contracts with promises of cushy kickbacks and access to top talent,” Wilk said in a prepared statement. “But it’s the everyday consumer who ultimately pays the price, making up for those kickbacks in the form of Ticketmaster’s extra fees. My bill restores much-needed competition to the ticketing and live entertainment industry. I am thrilled to see this clear the Senate and move even closer toward being signed into law.” 

Senate Bill 829 would prohibit exclusivity clauses in contracts between a primary ticket seller and an entertainment venue in the state of California. Preventing this clause would provide venues the autonomy to collaborate with other ticket sellers without the fear of retaliation from large ticket sellers.  

In a district-wide survey, Wilk asked constituents about their recent ticket-buying experiences. The overwhelming majority of responses expressed frustration at companies like Ticketmaster, said the release from Wilk’s office. 

The release included the following comments from survey respondents: 

“I had to move my tickets due to a rained-out event and the fees were MORE than the tickets were in the first place,” said Tracee, a 21st Senate District constituent. 

“I went to purchase tickets to a sporting event earlier this year, and the fees alone were almost the cost of a single ticket that I was purchasing,” said Peter, a 21st Senate District constituent.  

“Getting Taylor Swift tickets was like going through the first five levels of hell,” said Cassandra, a 21st Senate District constituent. 

“Family of five. Ticket fees push us away from committing to the purchase due to high-priced tickets,” said Jose, a 21st Senate District constituent. 

Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation have dominated the live entertainment industry since Congress approved their merging in 2010, Wilk’s statement said. In 2022, Ticketmaster sold 86% of Billboard’s Top 100 Tours in the United States. Of the total 2,498 shows, Ticketmaster ticketed 2,142 of them. 

SB 829 is based on a proposal currently going through the New York legislature and mirrors a 2020 agreement between Live Nation/Ticketmaster and the government of Ireland. 

The bill will now be considered in the Assembly. 

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