Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets

06/19/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/19/2024 05:43

Commitments made by Ticketmaster: consumers have a choice in resale platforms again

Consumers who wish to resell their mobile Ticketmaster tickets outside of Ticketmaster's platform will continue to be able to do so. Ticketmaster has made this commitment following an investigation of the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets () into the resale of mobile Ticketmaster tickets. Mobile Ticketmaster tickets are tickets that can only be transferred using Ticketmaster's transfer system, and that can be scanned on a mobile phone. ACM launched an investigation into possible impediments for consumers when reselling their mobile tickets through a different resale platform than Ticketmaster. During ACM's investigation, Ticketmaster took away these impediments. Consumers are subsequently allowed to transfer their mobile Ticketmaster tickets if the tickets were resold through a different platform. Although ACM did not establish any violation, the commitments have enabled consumers to choose freely what resale platform they wish to use for selling their tickets.

Martijn Snoep, Chairman of the Board of ACM, adds: "As a result of the commitments, other platforms, too, are able to compete for the resale of mobile tickets of Ticketmaster. Consumers thus have more choice when reselling tickets. That is good for competition and, by extension, good for consumers."

Resale of tickets

Ticketmaster is a key competitor in the Dutch market for ticket resales, especially tickets for live music events, such as concerts. If a consumer has bought a ticket, but subsequently cannot or does not want to go to the event anymore, it is usually possible to resell the ticket to another consumer through a resale platform. Resale platforms match consumers that wish to buy or sell tickets, and handle the payments. In addition, these platforms also handle the transfer of the mobile tickets. In the Netherlands, various resale platforms are active. Ticketmaster has a resale platform of its own, as well.

ACM has investigated Ticketmaster's conditions for the resale of mobile tickets, because ACM had had concerns about the consequences for competition of the restrictions placed on the transfer of mobile tickets. Ticketmaster tickets can only be transferred within Ticketmaster's digital environment in order to mitigate the risks of fraud. As a result of Ticketmaster's strict conditions, ACM was concerned that other resale platforms would be at a disadvantage in the resale of mobile Ticketmaster tickets. If there is too little competition in ticket resale markets, it will often lead to higher costs, reduced conditions, and reduced services for consumers.

Commitments

In order to take away ACM's concerns, Ticketmaster had made several commitments. During the investigation, Ticketmaster took away ACM's identified concerns regarding resales on other resale platforms. As a result of Ticketmaster's commitments, consumers will continue to be able to choose the resale platform that best fits their needs. Consumers are thus not limited to Ticketmaster's platform when selling their tickets. In addition, Ticketmaster will inform consumers and other resale platforms about the use of the so-called 'transfer functionality'. With this functionality, consumers are able to transfer tickets to another individual within Ticketmaster's system. Ticketmaster has committed to keeping the transfer functionality available for resales of mobile tickets of Ticketmaster on other resale platforms. ACM will keep a close watch on Ticketmaster's compliance with these commitments, for example, by monitoring the reports filed by other platforms and consumers.

Commitment decision available for consultation

ACM wishes to declare the commitments binding, and, in that case, close the investigation into Ticketmaster. ACM will make the draft commitment decision available for public consultation between 19 June 2024 through 2 August 2024. Interested parties have the opportunity to submit opinions about this draft decision. ACM will subsequently issue the final decision.

Opinions can be submitted through 2 August 2024 in the following ways:

By regular mail:

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM)
Competition Department (DM)
P.O. Box 16326
2500 BH The Hague
The Netherlands

By email: %20kevin[punt] baak[at] acm[punt] nl(kevin[dot]baak[at]acm[dot]nl)

See also