The U.S. Federal Trade Commission will examine online ticketing and the secondary market in a public workshop mapped out for the early stages of 2019.

The FTC workshop, set for 29 March 2019, will explore “consumer protection and competition issues” related to buying tickets online, a business that has been a “frequent topic of consumer and competitor complaints,” notes the competition authority, which is reaching out for entertainment industry input ahead of the big day.

The commission will cover-off topics in both the primary and secondary markets, including transparency, lack of ticket availability and ticket bots and the Better Online Ticket Sales Act (BOTS Act), disclosures of pricing, fees, speculative tickets and consumer confusion over primary versus secondary sellers.

Image of a variety of tickets, including some issued by the Ticketmaster service
Tickets to the show

A range of stakeholders will be in the room, including industry reps, consumer advocates, trade associations, academics and government officials, who will be expected “to discuss problematic practices in the online event ticket marketplace” and “shed light on industry wide advertising and pricing issues and explore ways to address deception beyond traditional law enforcement.”

The commission “has a strong interest in protecting consumer confidence in the online marketplace,” reads an FTC statement. Comments are invited for the U.S. workshop until Dec. 5 2018. Also, FTC staff have set up an email box for public suggestions at [email protected]