Boss Act To Get Hearing

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is poised to take up the Boss Act, sponsored by Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey, that would require ticket sellers to disclose how many tickets are available to the public and at what prices.

The bill, formally known as the Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Tickets, was inspired by Bruce Springsteen in more than just name.

It would require the Federal Trade Commission to issue rules governing ticket sales, distribution and prices, according to New Jersey Advance Media. The rules would include disclosure of how many tickets will be available to fans, remove restrictions on where consumers can resell tickets, and impose prohibitions on bots and similar software.

“It is not too much to require that Ticketmaster tells customers how many seats are going on sale, and what fees they are to be charged, before they place an order,” Pascrell reportedly said. “Fans deserve a chance to purchase tickets before secondary sellers or bots can jump to the front of the line.”

The bill was reportedly pushed to the May 24 agenda by Rep. Frank Pallone, a Democrat who represents Asbury Park, N.J.

“Representing Asbury Park, I understand the passion of fans who want to see acts like Bruce Springsteen and the Boss Act helps provide the necessary transparency for a fair ticket marketplace,” he said.

Versions of the proposed bill have come and gone over the years. Pascrell first introduced a similar measure in 2009.

“I believe consumers have a right to know and the federal government has a responsibility to oversee this marketplace,” Pascrell was quoted by Advance Media. “We made a promise we ‘swore we’d always remember,’ as the Springsteen lyric goes. ‘No retreat, baby, no surrender.’”