Members of European Parliament (MEPs) have today (April 17) voted to ban the use of bots for bulk-buying tickets online.
The move marks the first time the EU has directly addressed the issue of ticket resale and the legislation sets the minimum standard by which EU members must abide.
Representing promoters, managers, trade bodies and grassroots consumer action groups, anti-ticket touting organization, the Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT) raised awareness of the issue at EU level.
This included helping propose text and coordinating lobbying for this legislation’s inclusion.
Outside of the UK, it follows the introduction of targeted bot legislation in the US, Ontario, South Australia and New South Wales.
“Everyone apart from touts loses out from bot bulk-buying of tickets.”
Daniel Dalton, UK MEP
Daniel Dalton UK MEP, said: “Everyone apart from touts loses out from bot bulk-buying of tickets.
“Real fans are either unable to see their favourite team or artist or are forced to pay many times the face value price, whilst event organisers are seeing their purchasing limits flagrantly violated.
“So this first ban at a European level is an important first step, with the possibility to go further in future depending on how the ban works in practice.”
“It is welcome that the EU Parliament have today voted to ban bots, which harvest tickets from the primary market in order to sell for high profits on the secondary market.”
Sharon Hodgson MP
Sharon Hodgson MP, Member of Parliament for Washington and Sunderland West and Chair of the APPG on Ticket Abuse, added: “It is welcome that the EU Parliament have today voted to ban bots, which harvest tickets from the primary market in order to sell for high profits on the secondary market.
“This new regulation harmonises Europe with existing UK law on bots, and also allows member states to strengthen existing legislation, which will protect consumers. Fans across the world must not be priced out by the secondary ticket market using parasitical methods to get tickets.”
“The EU Parliament has recognised the growing public concern about consumer exploitation in the secondary ticketing market.”
Per Kviman & Virpi Imonnen, European Music Managers Alliance
Per Kviman and Virpi Imonnen at the European Music Managers Alliance (EMMA), said: “This is a positive step. The EU Parliament has recognised the growing public concern about consumer exploitation in the secondary ticketing market.
However, the banning of “bots” is one small piece of the jigsaw. Tackling this issue requires a more comprehensive approach, and we hope there is potential to build upon this move.”
Dr. Johannes Ulbricht, lawyer for German Music Promoters Association BDKV added: “BDKV supports the initiative of FEAT, which is definitely a step into the right direction.”
“There is still much to be done and we will be campaigning for tougher legislation in the next parliamentary term.”
Sam Shemtob and Katie O’Leary, FEAT
Sam Shemtob and Katie O’Leary of FEAT commented: “We welcome the move to curb the use of bots in this first Europe-wide anti-touting law.
“As well as requiring professional sellers to identify themselves, it also enables member states to go further and potentially regulate the resale price of tickets.
“Most importantly, this represents the first step in harmonising regulation across Europe. This approach is critical as secondary ticketing companies tend to exploit regulatory gaps between countries.
“There is still much to be done and we will be campaigning for tougher legislation in the next parliamentary term.”Music Business Worldwide