City Council gives final approval to bill allowing Ticketmaster fees

TicketmasterServices and ShoppingJames B. KraftBill HenryMary Pat Clarke

The City Council gave final approval Monday to a bill that would allow companies such as Ticketmaster to continue to charge unlimited fees when selling tickets to events in Baltimore.

The 15-member council voted without discussion in favor of the bill, which exempts Ticketmaster and other ticket sellers from Baltimore's long-standing anti-scalping law.

Only council members Bill Henry, James B. Kraft and Mary Pat Clarke voted "no."

The law will sunset in September. By then, council members say, they will have had enough time to draft permanent legislation.

The legislation was a response to a ruling by Maryland's highest court, which in January struck down Ticketmaster's unpopular user fees in Baltimore. The Ravens, Orioles and concert, entertainment and cultural venues asked for the bill, concerned that Ticketmaster and other ticket vendors might refuse to handle events in the city.

The legislation exempts ticket sellers from a 1948 law that bars businesses and citizens from charging fees in excess of 50 cents on top of a ticket's stated price. The prohibition still applies to citizens.

Luke.Broadwater@baltsun.com

Twitter.com/lukebroadwater

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