"We make every effort to avoid service charges and keep them as low as possible," he said. "Fee caps are unnecessary and could have an adverse impact on the ticketing services provided in Baltimore City."

Councilwoman Rochelle "Rikki" Spector, who introduced the amendments to the original bill, said customers have a choice and can skip fees if they buy tickets in person. She said she worried about losing musical acts to other venues if Baltimore moved to limit fees.

"It was definitely a dangerous place to go in terms of keeping us competitive for entertainment," she said. "It would have cost us business. It would have cost us jobs."

Councilman Bill Henry, who voted for the amended bill, said he believed the market would determine how high user fees would go.

"Clearly people are willing to pay," he said.

The legislation comes after the council voted in March to allow companies such as Ticketmaster to continue to charge unlimited fees when selling tickets to events in Baltimore. The council approved that bill to counter a court ruling that the fees are illegal under the city's anti-scalping law.

Ticketmaster and its owner, Live Nation Entertainment, have declined to comment on the issue.

Andre Bourgeois, a 50-year-old Inner Harbor resident, sued Ticketmaster and the Lyric Opera House in 2011 after being charged $12 in user fees on a $52 ticket to see singer Jackson Browne in 2009. His hope was that Ticketmaster would be forced to stop charging the fees for events in Baltimore — and would issue refunds to customers who have paid the charges.

According to his lawsuit, Ticketmaster takes in about $1 billion annually from user fees on $8 billion in ticket sales worldwide. The suit does not estimate how much of that comes from Baltimore.

In 2011, Live Nation agreed to pay $22.3 million to customers to settle a class-action lawsuit over delivery fees.

luke.broadwater@baltsun.com

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