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That's the ticket, Minnesota!

Some hopeful news from Minnesota for anyone concerned about unfair restrictions on the re-sale of tickets online.

A bill making its way through the Minnesota legislature would repeal the state’s anti-scalping law and bring greater choice, convenience and competition to the growing secondary market for tickets to entertainment and sporting events.

When Minnesota’s anti-scalping law was passed way back in 1963 the marketplace for tickets was very different. The Internet didn’t even exist. Repealing this old law would permit more online trading and open new possibilities for consumers looking to buy or sell tickets online.

An free and open market for tickets would benefit buyers and sellers alike. On Internet ticket exchange websites, tickets for some events sell for more than their face value. Others sell for a lot less. In fact, many if not most, tickets end up selling for less than the original purchase price, including those "convenience" fees we all hate to pay.

State governments should be wary of exaggerated concerns about consumer protection. These are often just a smokescreen for attempts to stifle competition. When it comes to consumer protection, online marketplaces like Yahoo Classifieds, eBay, and AOL Classifieds earn the trust of consumers hour after hour and day after day. These sites aggressively enforce safe trading policies, and they have proven to be ideal partners for state regulators responsible for enforcing real consumer protection laws.

Consumers everywhere in the country deserve the choice and convenience of an open online marketplace for sports and entertainment tickets, a marketplace free from outdated anti-scalping laws and other unnecessary restrictions.