Pearl Jam tiff over tickets spurs new bill

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Pearl Jam's crusade to reform the concert industry is resurfacing on Capitol Hill, where Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich., is expected this week to reintroduce legislation to require ticket vendors to disclose the fees they add to the price of each ticket.

The bill is certain to meet serious opposition from the new Republican-controlled Congress. A similar proposal by Mr. Dingell died in committee during the last session. The new bill would also require the FTC to conduct a study of current ticketing practices, including the exclusive arrangements between promoters, venue operators and vendors -- such as Ticketmaster -- that underlie pricing decisions.

Pearl Jam, a Seattle-based rock group, filed a complaint in May accusing Ticketmaster of exercising a national monopoly over ticket distribution and of using its influence with concert promoters to thwart the group's plan for a low-priced tour last summer. Ticketmaster denies the allegations.

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