CONGRESS HOLDS HEARINGS ON TICKETMASTER
Yesterday, the House Subcommittee on Transportation and
Hazardous Material began hearings on "a bill mandating that the
public be fully informed of any charges tacked onto an event
ticket" through advertising disclaimers. But, according to
Richard Leiby in this morning's WASHINGTON POST, "the Ticket Fee
Disclosure Act, introduced by powerful Michigan Democrat John
Dingell, seems more like a scripted piece of political bluster
than an actual blow against the allegedly monopolistic practices
of the Ticketmaster empire." Ticketmaster apparently supports
the legislation, and says "it already divulges its service fees"
in telephone scripts and on tickets. Ned Goldstein, Ticketmaster
VP: "We feel the consumer has the right to the information."
Bill Wood of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group:
"Disclosing to someone that you are extorting them does not solve
the problem of extortion." According to Goldstein, Ticketmaster
"only makes a time on each ticket it handles" (Richard Leiby,
WASHINGTON POST, 9/30).