LUXEMBOURG (CelebrityAccess) — The EU Parliament on Wednesday voted to ban the use of automated ticket buying software, AKA bots to circumvent ticket purchasing rules, including maximum per-person purchase limits.
The measure comes as part of a package of consumer protections aimed at reducing misleading and unfair practices in online marketplaces and sets a minimum standard for EU member nations to adhere to while allowing local jurisdictions to implement stronger rules regarding ticket resale services.
Bots have been a hot spot of consumer frustration in the ticket resale market for years and are widely perceived as a significant factor in the price and availability of tickets to cultural and sporting events.
A 2019 study of bot activity by Distil Research Lab https://resources.distilnetworks.com/white-paper-reports/bad-bots-and-ticketing estimated that 42.2% of activity on primary ticketing platforms is attributable to bots compared to 56.9% human activity.
“Today’s agreement updates consumer rights for the internet age, ensuring consumers will have much more information about how online rankings work and when results are manipulated by paid placements. Misleading statements about reviews and reselling event tickets acquired by using automated means to bypass purchase limits are also banned,” Daniel Dalton (ECR, UK) who guided the legislation through parliament said in a press statement.
FEAT, the Face-Value European Alliance For Ticketing hailed the new legislation and in a statement, FEAT’s Sam Shemtob and Katie O’Leary wrote:
“We welcome the move to curb the use of bots in this first Europe-wide anti-touting law. As well as requiring professional sellers to identify themselves, it also enables member states to go further and potentially regulate the resale price of tickets.”
“Most importantly, this represents the first step in harmonizing regulation across Europe. This approach is critical as we know secondary ticketing companies like to exploit regulatory gaps. There is still much to be done and we will be campaigning for tougher legislation in the next parliamentary term.”