Consumer Advocates, Boss Act Co-Author Praise House Investigation

Ticket News

NetChoice, a D.C.-based trade association of businesses, shared similar sentiments. The organization minced no words when it came to the hearing’s oversight into Ticketmaster having been an outspoken opponent of its practices. Netchoice also called for further investigations into Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation.

“Ticketmaster’s anti-competitive practices present an opportunity for antitrust enforcement that would be both popular and necessary,” said Carl Szabo, NetChoice Vice President and General Counsel. “This hearing showed that now is the time for an antitrust investigation of Ticketmaster and LiveNation. Investigating Ticketmaster for anti-consumer behavior would produce a slam-dunk case for the DOJ and FTC, proving both are well-prepared to protect consumers in the 2020s. Ticketmaster has been denying fans choice and convenience by using anti-competitive and dark practices. We look forward to further government action including the passage of the BOSS Act to protect consumers.”

NetChoice Commends House Subcommittee for Live Event Ticketing Hearing

Today, NetChoice commended the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations for holding a hearing into the anti-consumer practices of Ticketmaster.

“Ticketmaster’s anti-competitive practices present an opportunity for antitrust enforcement that would be both popular and necessary,” said Carl Szabo, NetChoice Vice President and General Counsel. “We commend the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations for holding this important hearing.”

“This hearing showed that now is the time for an antitrust investigation of Ticketmaster and LiveNation. Investigating Ticketmaster for anti-consumer behavior would produce a slam-dunk case for the DOJ and FTC, proving both are well-prepared to protect consumers in the 2020s.”

“Ticketmaster has been denying fans choice and convenience by using anti-competitive and dark practices. We look forward to further government action including the passage of the BOSS Act to protect consumers.”

DC’s Transportation Department Abused Its Authority by Arbitrarily Capping Electric Scooters & Hurting Consumers

Not long ago, the District of Columbia was heralded as a leader in micromobility — a catch-all phrase for small, docked or dockless transportation options like bikes and scooters that consumers often rent using their phones.

Read more on Medium…

Everything is more expensive under the PRO Act

Medium

California’s AB 5, a law that took effect on Jan 1 of this year, heavily restricts workers who want to be contractors rather than full employees. The impact of AB 5 was to disenfranchise workers around the state who lost paying work and an honest income. Self-employed Californians were unnecessarily restricted to empower outdated and unaccountable unions. The backlash was huge.

Dallas should embrace scooters and reject arbitrary regulations

Smart Cities Dive

Getting from point A to point B in Dallas used to be simple enough — you could drive, take public transportation, walk, bike or use a ride-sharing app. 

But as Dallas gets bigger, getting around is increasingly difficult. Since 2010, Dallas’ population grew by more than 12% and the city’s public transit system isn’t keeping up.​ Walkable areas of Dallas comprise a meek 0.1% of the metro area, so almost all trips in the area require residents to own or hail a car.

Read more at Smart Cities Dive…

NetChoice Raises Concerns with the Protecting the Right to Organize Act

Today, NetChoice pushed Congress to reject the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act because it threatens workers’ livelihoods within the growing peer-to-peer economy.

“Workers join the peer-to-peer economy because they’re looking for a flexible way to make a living. The PRO Act would restrict the right of self-employment, deny workers’ choice of when and how they want to work, and make it harder for Americans to find work that best serves their family,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice.

“The internet enabled a surge in self-employment through online services like Lyft and Thumbtack, while the PRO Act would wrest control and opportunity away from workers.”

Rental Car Companies Collect $4 Billion in Special Treatment While Complaining That Their Competitors Get Special Treatment

Reason Magazine

The biggest of those loopholes is the simple fact that rental car companies are exempt from paying sales tax when they buy new vehicles. According to a report published this week by NetChoice, that sale tax exemption saved rental car companies more than $3.5 billion last year. In California, where other residents have to pay a 7.25 percent tax on the price of a new car, that tax break saved rental car companies more than $676 million in 2019.

That sweet deal isn’t available to users of Turo or GetAround. Good luck telling your state that the reason you didn’t pay your vehicle sales tax bill is because you plan to rent the car as a side hustle.

“State governments hand out billions to companies like Enterprise and Hertz, providing them an unfair advantage over competitors, like peer-to-peer car-sharing services,” says Steve DelBianco, NetChoice’s president.

The NetChoice report also examines the so-called “vehicle license fees” tacked onto the cost of renting a car through traditional platforms such as Enterprise or Hertz. Consumers probably don’t think about that fee as anything different than a tax—but in reality, it simply provides additional revenue for the rental car platform and does not go to local or state governments.

Ticket transfer bill dead; issue not

The Journal Gazette

Carl Szabo, vice president for NetChoice – a trade association for businesses promoting free enterprise on the internet – said he was utterly amazed at the opposition to the bill.

“I feel like my head is about to explode,” he said. “Everyone is saying it’s unnecessary. But you don’t send the senior VP of Live Nation for a bill that’s unnecessary. Clearly they have a lot more planned for Indiana consumers than meets the eye.”

He was referring to Tom Mendenhall of Live Nation – one of the largest events promoters and venue operators in the world – who attended the hearing on the bill. Live Nation owns a number of venues in central Indiana.

NetChoice Releases Research on Tax Subsidies to Big Car Rental Industry

Study Exposes Unfair Tax Benefits for Car Rental Industry that are not available to  Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing

Link to Report

WASHINGTON – NetChoice, a trade association fighting for free enterprise and free expression online, today released a report on the unfair benefits the Big Car Rental industry receives at the expense of taxpayers and consumers. 

Despite consistent revenue growth and profitability, the rental-car industry, including big companies like Enterprise and Hertz, receives tax benefits costing over $4 billion to U.S. taxpayers and consumers annually, the report shows.

“Our study highlights the extraordinary government favors granted to the car rental industry,” said Steve DelBianco, President of NetChoice.

“The tax breaks, loopholes, and subsidies analyzed in our report are a boon for big car rental companies, who receive over $4 billion in state-sanctioned benefits annually.  State governments hand out billions to companies like Enterprise and Hertz, providing them an unfair advantage over competitors, like peer-to-peer car sharing services.”

According to the NetChoice study, the car rental industry receives:

  • A sales tax loophole costing taxpayers $3.5 billion every year
  • A vehicle registration fee subsidy costing customers $650 million each year

Key analysis in the report shows:

Passing-on Vehicle License Fees is intentionally misleading to consumers

  • The fee, placed next to sales tax on a car rental bill, leads consumers to think that money is being given directly to the state, when it goes directly to the car rental company’s bottom line
  • The only example of somewhat similar fees is in highly regulated public-utility companies — very different than the car rental industry

Big Rental is asking government to help eliminate competition from peer-to-peer car sharing service

  • A recent survey of rental-car operators revealed that “competition from peer-to-peer networks” ranked as one of the top self-reported threats in 2020
  • These peer-to-peer car sharing services don’t receive the same state-granted benefits as the car rental industry
  • The car rental industry is lobbying the government to regulate peer-to-peer car sharing like traditional car rental companies, even though they would not receive the same state-granted benefits

The full report can be found here.


About NetChoice

NetChoice is a trade association fighting to protect free expression and free enterprise online. Described by Politico as “Silicon Valley’s most aggressive lobbying presence in Washington,” we advocate at the local, state, national, and international levels, working with the tech industry, lawmakers, and academia.