US senators put FTC under the microscope over ticket-buying bots


Live Nation has been under the spotlight since the difficulties with the ticket on-sales for Taylor Swift’s next tour. However, US regulator the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is also facing some pointed questions from politicians.

US senators Marsha Blackburn and Richard Blumenthal have written to FTC chair Lina Khan requesting “answers on how the FTC is combatting the use and operation of bots in the online ticket marketplace”. The senators were key movers behind the 2016 Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act law, which aimed to crack down on scalpers using software to bulk-buy tickets.

“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,” said Blumenthal in a statement.

The pair want to know why the FTC has only undertaken one enforcement action so far using the Act, and what Congress might need to do to remove any obstacles.

Written by: Stuart Dredge