US president Joe Biden has made ‘junk fees’ a centrepiece policy of his administration. Those are fees that aren’t transparent, or which are added late in the purchase process, for everything from airline tickets and car rentals to concert tickets.
Biden talked ticketing in its State of the Union address in February and then held a summit with ticketing firms in June. Now the White House has announced its latest plans “to crack down on junk fees and promote competition”.
They include a new rule from regulator the FTC that would ban businesses from charging hidden and misleading fees, and require them to show the full price upfront. “Unexpected service fees to buy a live event ticket,” were one of the examples listed in the announcement.
Companies flouting the new rule could be fined and forced to refund consumers.
Biden’s campaign has already led to changes: at his June summit Live Nation promised to roll out ‘all-in upfront pricing’ for its shows and festivals in September. Live Nation boss Michael Rapino hailed the latest developments yesterday, tweeting “We welcome today’s White House announcement and support mandatory all-in pricing legislation”.