WASHINGTON, D.C. – After Ticketmaster claimed a high volume of bot attacks forced them to cancel Taylor Swift ticket sales, U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ranking Member and Chair of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan. The Senators requested answers on how the FTC is combatting the use and operation of bots in the online ticket marketplace.
In 2016, President Obama signed Senator Blackburn’s legislation, the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act, into law. Senator Blumenthal was also an original co-sponsor of the bill, which prohibits ticket scalpers from using software to purchase high volumes of tickets. The Senators believe enforcing the BOTS Act fully is important to ensuring a level playing field for ticket consumers.
“The recent difficulties consumers have faced while attempting to purchase tickets is a serious concern and reflective of anti-competitive conduct in the online ticket marketplace,” said Senator Blackburn. “Fortunately, a solution is already in place that would go a long way in reducing ticket costs and protecting consumers and artists from scammers. The federal government needs to get serious about implementing my legislation, the BOTS Act, immediately.”
“The Better Online Ticket Sales Act gave the FTC and state attorneys general the tools they need to crack down on parasitic online ticket bots – now they need to use them. Without adequate enforcement of this anti-consumer software, regular fans are still being unfairly priced out of seeing their favorite singer or hometown sports team. We’d like to know what steps the FTC plans to take to ensure that consumers have fair access to the events they want to see,” said Senator Blumenthal.