April 8, 2008

Senator Michael J. McCaffrey

Rhode Island General Assembly

State House

Providence, Rhode Island

Subject:  S 2023 and S 2033, increasing regulation on ticket reselling

Dear Chairman McCaffrey:

We write to oppose S 2023 and S 2033, legislation that is unprecedented nationwide for its discriminatory treatment of the buying and selling of tickets over the Internet.

These bills would take Rhode Island in the wrong direction regulating upstream against a nationwide current of liberalization for ticket reselling, including in neighboring Connecticut and nearby New York.  Rhode Island already has one of the most restrictive ticket reselling laws in the country.

This legislation is driven entirely by the extraordinary demand for Hannah Montana tickets on a recent concert tour at the Dunkin Donuts Center. Hannah Montana represents a unique situation that has tapped into a new “tween” market of kids between childhood and adolescents.  All this brimming demand has clashed with a limited supply of tickets in the primary market, which has spilled over into the legally-operated secondary market.

Yet by focusing on the Internet resale market, S 2023 and S 2033 miss the complex big picture of how tickets are issued, allocated, distributed and sold to the public. Ticket resellers are not to blame for the limited supply of tickets and high demand from consumers.  As in all markets, if demand exceeds supply and prices are fixed at a relatively low level, a secondary market will develop.

Ticket reselling over the Internet provides consumers with greater choice and opportunity to buy and sell tickets to their favorite events.  The rise of online ticket exchanges has brought more competition, safety, and convenience to sports and music fans— yet, these bills unfairly penalize e-commerce.

Thank you for considering our views, and please let me know if I can provide further information for your deliberations on this important issue.

Sincerely,

Braden Cox

Policy Counsel, NetChoice

cc:  Senate Committee on Judiciary Members