LONDON, June 15 /PRNewswire/ --
- UK's Largest Marketplace for Tickets Calls On Government To Take Notice of US Law Changes And Put Consumer Interests First
GET ME IN! (www.getmein.com), the UK's largest online marketplace for tickets to sports, entertainment, music and other live events, has presented evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee inquiry into ticket touting, calling on the government to take notice of the recent elimination of scalping laws in New York.
Earlier this month New York became the latest - and most significant - state in America to eliminate decades of restrictions on the re-sale of tickets to sporting events, concerts and shows.
Previously, anyone re-selling a ticket in New York could only charge a maximum of 45 per cent over the original cover price. But under new rules, New York has not only discarded its long held practice of capping prices but also went a step further, banning professional sports teams from imposing penalties on season ticket holders who choose to sell their tickets.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and State Governor Elliott Spitzer both campaigned in favour of the law change to an open and competitive secondary ticket market.
Spitzer commented: "My view has always been that the laws don't work. The reason the laws don't work is it's the only product I know where we are regulating the secondary market but we don't set a price for the primary market. It makes no sense."
But the decisions by New York and several other states recently, including Illinois and Florida, to remove laws that restrict resale come just as the British government has been holding a series of summits to discuss the impact of ticket touting on the music and sports industries.
Concert promoters and sports organizers have been lobbying aggressively to extend a current UK law prohibiting the resale of football tickets, intended to ensure crowd safety, into other sporting and cultural events.
Andrew Blachman, CEO of GET ME IN! (www.getmein.com), has urged the government to put consumers ahead of the powerful interests of the music and sports industry.
Blachman said: "The reality is the public benefit from a vibrant secondary market - and the changes in the US are being driven by sports and music fans. An extension of law that is being suggested in the UK would be a massive backward step for consumers."
Government has yet to rule out legislation prohibiting resale, despite consumer surveys finding that over 76% of consumers believe it shouldn't be against the law for people to resell tickets they no longer want or can't use.
The Department for Culture Media and Sport's own consumer study commissioned in 2006 found that "many believe there is no role for further regulation and are particularly cynical about Governmental intervention in this marketplace."
Creative Industries Minister Shaun Woodward has been sceptical of claims there is a need for restrictions on UK market, saying: "NME asked their readers how many people wanted the government to step in and regulate this market and the answer was five per cent.
"That means that 95 per cent do not want the government to step in here."
Blachman also made a practical observation that laws restricting ticket resale simply don't work: "Whenever government has stepped in to restrict ticket resale, it only forces consumers into the black market, where prices are higher than they otherwise would be and you often don't even get the tickets you pay for.
"Getmein.com and other sites like ours offer people the opportunity to buy tickets they might otherwise never have had the chance to buy, and allow them to do it in a safe and trusted way."
Notes to Editors:
1. Advanced Ticket Systems (t/a GET ME IN!) company members:
- Andrew Blachman, CEO
Before joining ATS, Andrew was a consultant to StubHub, the leading North American secondary ticket marketplace recently acquired by Ebay. Prior to Stubhub, Andrew was European Director of WideRay (now Qwikker), a mobile content delivery company backed by Sequoia Capital and headquartered in San Francisco.
- James Gray, Managing Director and Founder
James' knowledge of the secondary ticket market in the UK and Europe has been a driving component in the company's ability to continuously better serve both buyers and sellers. James serves on the executive board of ASTA, the Association of Secondary Ticket Agents. He is one of a select few entrepreneurs who has been recognized as an innovator by the UK Department of Trade & Industry.
- Paul Montagne, Operation Director and Founder
Prior to founding the company Paul successfully founded SEO Solutions, an online marketing company based in The Netherlands. Since co-founding the company in 2003, he has been deeply involved in virtually every area of the business, with particular emphasis on the development of the web site to its current position as UK & Europe's leading online marketplace for secondary tickets.
- Grahame T. Sewell, Chairman
Grahame has over 30 years of international entrepreneurial experience holding a number of roles as Chairman, CEO, CFO and Non-Executive Director. Previously Grahame was Financial Drirector at Alliance Unichem plc, CFO International Division at Reebok International Ltd and International Financial Director at Lotus Development Corp.
- Edward F. (Ted) West, Non-Executive Director
Ted has 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, and strategic advisor to management teams of emerging growth and established public companies. Ted has served on the Boards of Directors of several emerging companies both public and private, and is currently Chairman of LookSmart (NASDAQ:LOOK), a leader in Web search services and technology.
- David Frankel, Non-Executive Director
David co-founded IS, the largest ISP and private data carrier in Southern Africa. David has been a Director of Dimension Data plc (LSE:DDT) since selling IS to this group. David is a General Partner of Ovation Capital Partners, an early stage Venture Capital group based in New York, and of Altirah Capital, based in Johannesburg. In 2000, David was voted the South African Technology Achiever of the Century by the Financial Mail. He was later selected by The World Economic Forum in Davos as one of 100 "Global Leaders for Tomorrow".
For further information on GET ME IN! or to arrange an interview with Andrew Blachman, please contact: Simon Russell - firstname.lastname@example.org / +44-01179-066-519 Caroline Glyn-Jones - email@example.com / +44-01179-066-526
Source: GET ME IN!