WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar announced Friday that bipartisan legislation she backed to protect consumers from ticket bots passed the Senate.
Many fans had difficulty buying tickets online for the Prince tribute show earlier this year in St. Paul. In October, Klobuchar joined with representatives from First Avenue and the Historic Theatre Group to push for passage of the bill, a news release said.
The Better Online Ticket Sales, known as BOTS Act, of 2016 would prohibit the use of ticket bots and other online measures in order to deliberately circumvent security protocols that limit or restrict online ticket purchases. The legislation would prohibit the sale of any ticket that is knowingly obtained by such unlawful methods. A violation of these prohibitions would be subject to civil penalties.
"Ticket bots too often prevent fans from seeing the artists they love or the teams they cheer for. They also make it harder for artists to ensure their fans can attend live shows at a reasonable price," Klobuchar said in the release. "Passing this bipartisan legislation in the Senate moves us one step closer to limiting the ability of ticket buying bots to cut in line and drive up prices for real fans."
As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights, Klobuchar has been a leader in the fight to protect consumers from unauthorized charges on their phone bills and deceptive practices by fraudulent online travel booking websites. At a Commerce Committee hearing in 2014, Klobuchar called on the Federal Communications Commission to do more to protect consumers from cramming as consumers increasingly go wireless and as payment technology evolves. Since then, the FCC Federal Trade Commission, and other federal agencies have continued to take action against cramming. Following reports of deceptive online companies imitating websites of actual hotels or airlines to attract bookings, earlier this year Klobuchar sent a letter to the FTC and the U.S. Department of Transportation urging an investigation and for the agencies to use tools available to help stop these practices.