Google Regulates Resale Of Online Ticket Sales To Curb Scalping

Google has set down new rules for the resale of ticket sales through its online services in an effort to prevent ticket scalping.

Taylor Swift lost out on about $85 million in revenue for recent ticket sales -- which went to scalpers -- according to one report, she learned after using Ticketmaster Entertainment's Verified Fan program that uses technology to identify actual fans. The triggers are based on the fan's measurable "devotion" to buy albums, sign up for a newsletter, and watch Swift's music videos.

Google now requires companies that appear in search results and those that purchase paid-search ads to clarify that they have tickets for resale and that they are not the promoters of the event.  

Now all ticket sellers must be certified and increase their transparency about the sale. This will give users more clarity about the vendor reselling the tickets and the total cost of those tickets, including any associated fees.  

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Certification requires the reseller to not imply they are a primary marketplace, disclose themselves as a ticket reseller and secondary marketplace for the tickets, disclose that prices may be above face value, or provide the total and breakup of the price across fees and taxes before requiring payment information. Beginning March 2018, resellers also must provide the face value of the tickets being sold in the same currency.

Get Me In, Seatwave, StubHub, and Viagogo have met the requirements, according to one report.

Secondary ticketing websites have created controversy in the last few years. More are being accused of misleading fans.

This updated policy resulted from Google's research as well as the insights and feedback gathered from users, advertisers, partners and third-party industry groups.

In November 2017, Google notified the sites with these changes, allowing them time to prepare and make adjustments.

Resellers had the opportunity to request certification with Google beginning on January 8, 2018 when the company published the application form.

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