THREE CONSUMER GROUPS LAUNCH CAMPAIGN AGAINST TICKETMASTER
Three consumer groups yesterday launched a campaign to fight
what they call "unfair ticketing practices" by ticket agencies.
The groups seek legislation to cap service fees, force agencies
to disclose surcharges and make sports, concerts, plays and other
events more accessible to the public. Maura Brueger, Exec Dir of
Consumers Against Unfair Ticketing (CAUT): "The entertainment-
ticketing industry is one of the least consumer-friendly
industries in the country, providing consumers with no choice, no
information and unreasonable charges." CAUT held a joint press
conference yesterday with representatives of the U.S. Public
Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) and the Consumer Federation
of America. CAUT was formed following the '94 dispute between
Pearl Jam and Ticketmaster. A U.S. PIRG study of 80 recent
events nationwide said TicketMaster added an average of 27% in
fees to ticket prices. But Judy Black, Senior VP at
TicketMaster, said the company's per-ticket fee averaged only
about 12% over the last five years. But U.S. PIRG's Bill Wood
said TicketMaster does not include handling charges in their per-
ticket fee percentage, which brings it to 27% (Jacqueline Gaulin,
WASHINGTON TIMES, 3/22).
OTHER TICKETMASTER NEWS: According to this morning's N.Y.
TIMES, TicketMaster is considering getting into the airline
ticketing business. TicketMaster CEO Fred Rosen is said to be
considering a possible alliance with American Express for the new
venture (N.Y. TIMES, 3/22).