Institute for Policy Innovation Calls for Michigan to End Restrictions on Ticket Resales

May 20, 2014

Tom Giovanetti, President of the Institute for Policy Innovation, published an op-ed in The Detroit News that called on the Michigan state legislature to pass legislation that would end restrictions on ticket resales.  Currently, Michigan has a law dating all the way back to the 1930s that restricts the ability of Michigan consumers to resell event tickets they have purchased.  The law also specifically makes it illegal to sell a ticket for above face value.  There are only a few states that have similar restrictions on the resale of tickets. 

In his op-ed, Giovanetti explains that although proponents of this law claim it protects consumers, it actually only protects the event venues, teams and entertainers at the expense of consumers.  “One effect of the law is to preclude Michiganians from listing their tickets on secondary online exchanges, unless those exchanges have received “authorized dealer” status from the ticket seller. This is like having to sell your used Ford through an authorized Ford dealership instead of being free to sell it to whomever you wish for whatever price you can negotiate,” writes Giovanetti.  “You would see such a law as restraint of trade, and as government protecting entrenched business interests in the name of consumer protection. And you’d be correct……….It’s the monopoly on ticket transfers that this law protects — not consumers.”

eBay Inc. globally supports the right of fans who purchase tickets to entertainment and sporting events to resell or give those tickets away without limitations or restrictions.  Consumers should be able to resell a ticket at any consumer protected exchange at any price the market will bear.

To read Mr. Giovanetti’s full op-ed, please visit The Detroit News.  For more information on eBay Inc.’s position on the ticket sales, please visit our Issues page.