President Joe Biden announced Thursday that ticket sales giants Ticketmaster and Live Nation have pledged to provide consumers with full pricing upfront, ending surprise fees at checkout during online purchases.
Biden convened a roundtable at the White House with companies that have committed to disclose fees to consumers upfront. The event included representatives from Live Nation, SeatGeek, xBk, Airbnb, TickPick, DICE, the Newport Festivals Foundation and the Pablo Center at the Confluence.
Live Nation Entertainment, which formed in a merger with Ticketmaster in 2010, pledged that all tickets for its shows sold through Ticketmaster will display all fees and costs upfront starting in September. Ticketmaster will also add a feature that allows consumers to view upfront pricing for all other tickets sold on the platform.
Other ticketing platforms, such as SeatGeek and xBk, have pledged to introduce options for consumers to view full pricing, the White House said.
"One of the major categories of junk fees are ones that companies charge right at the end of the purchasing process after you’ve already spent the time comparing your options," Biden said at Thursday's event. "The solution is what is called all-in pricing. And that’s where companies fully disclose their fees upfront when you start shopping, so you’re not surprised at the end when you check out."
The Biden administration began its push to crack down on so-called junk fees charged by banks and other companies before the midterm elections last year as part of an effort to lower costs for Americans amid record-high inflation.
Biden highlighted his pledge in his State of the Union address in February, urging the passage of a bill to prevent “junk fees” and hidden surcharges. He called on Congress to pass legislation called the Junk Fee Protection Act to address excessive fees on concerts, sporting and entertainment events and airline fares.
The White House in March also urged states to expand their efforts to crack down on surprise fees consumers are forced to pay on rental housing to cable bills.
The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing in January to examine Ticketmaster’s outsize role in the ticketing industry in the wake of last year’s Taylor Swift concert debacle, which involved long wait times and technical issues. Ticketmaster canceled the public sale of tickets to the tour at the time, citing “extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand.”