A small but important part of the ticket sales racket was dealt a blow this week as the European Parliament voted to block the use of ticket bots.
Such bots are commonly used by brokers to circumvent purchase limitations and allow them to scoop up as many tickets as possible before individual fans can get them. The law also requires brokers to identify themselves clearly as professional ticket brokers when they sell tickets on secondary marketplaces, according to Musically.com.
Such a law would not solve the problem of artificial scarcity in ticket sales, however, as there’s still the problem of venue and talent management or promoters that offer up a very small portion of total tickets on the initial day of sale. This practice allow management to boast about “record sell-outs” in a matter of minutes, while the bulk of the tickets are sold directly to ticket brokers, who gouge the the public accordingly.
The EU law was passed as part of a broader refresh of consumer protection laws in the European Union, called the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. Annex 1 (#23a) states that the resale of tickets quired by use of “automated means to circumvent any imposed limit on the number of tickets that a person can buy” or any other restriction is unfair in all circumstances.
Other aspects of the law will bans fabricated “reviews” of goods and services and clear indications of paid product placement in online marketplaces. The law now moves forward to the European Council for approval.