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SF 425

as introduced - 87th Legislature (2011 - 2012) Posted on 02/23/2012 08:49am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language. underscored = added, new language.

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A bill for an act
relating to commerce; regulating certain practices with respect to event tickets;
establishing minimum standards for consumer protection;proposing coding for
new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 325E; repealing Minnesota Statutes
2010, section 609.807.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

[325E.68] DEFINITIONS.

Subdivision 1.

Terms.

For purposes of sections 325E.68 to 325E.72, the terms
defined in this section have the meanings given.

Subd. 2.

Event.

"Event" means a concert, theatrical performance, sporting event,
exhibition, show, or similar scheduled activity taking place in this state:

(1) that is open to the general public;

(2) for which an admission fee is charged; and

(3) that is held in a venue accommodating more than 1,000 persons.

Subd. 3.

Event ticket.

"Event ticket" means the physical, electronic, or other form
of a certificate, document, voucher, token, or other evidence indicating that the bearer,
possessor, or person entitled to possession through purchase or otherwise has:

(1) a revocable or irrevocable right, privilege, or license to enter an event venue or
occupy a particular seat or area in an event venue with respect to one or more events; or

(2) an entitlement to purchase a right, privilege, or license with respect to one or
more future events.

Subd. 4.

Resale.

"Resale" includes a form of transfer or alienation, or offering for
transfer or alienation, or possession or entitlement to possession of an event ticket from
one person to another, with or without consideration, whether in person or by means of
telephone, mail, delivery service, facsimile, Internet, e-mail, or other electronic means.
Resale does not include the initial sale of an event ticket by the ticket issuer.

Subd. 5.

Ticket issuer.

"Ticket issuer" means a person that makes event tickets
available, directly or indirectly, to the general public, and may include the operator of a
venue, the sponsor or promoter of an event, a sports team participating in an event or a
league whose teams are participating in an event, a theater company, musical group, or
similar participant in an event, or an agent of any such person.

Subd. 6.

Venue.

"Venue" means the theater, stadium, field, hall, or other facility
where an event takes place.

Sec. 2.

[325E.69] PUBLIC NOTICE OBLIGATIONS OF TICKET ISSUERS.

Subdivision 1.

Requirement of advance public notice.

A ticket issuer, or its
authorized agent, shall provide advance public notice of its ticket policies for each event
subject to sections 325E.68 to 325E.72. The notice must include at least the following
information:

(1) identification of the specific event, including date, time, and location;

(2) the total number of event tickets to be issued for the event, whether by public sale
or otherwise, and the number of tickets for every class, tier, or level of admission offered;

(3) the total number of event tickets to the event that will be made available for
purchase by members of the general public as public sale tickets subject to this section and
the number of tickets for every class, tier, or level of admission offered;

(4) the established price for each class, tier, or level of admission offered, which will
be designated as public sale tickets, including the amount of any premium, service charge,
or other fee applicable to the sale of the ticket;

(5) the "on-sale date and time," which is the date and time on which public sale
tickets will first be made available for sale to the general public; and

(6) a complete list of the outlets at which public sale tickets will be made available
for sale to the general public on the date and at the time specified, including a list of all
Web sites at which tickets will be made available.

The notice required by this subdivision may be posted on the ticket issuer's Web site
or given in any other commercially reasonable manner.

Subd. 2.

Marking of public sale tickets.

The ticket issuer, or its authorized agent,
shall cause an event ticket designated as a public sale ticket, in accordance with this
subdivision, to be marked conspicuously with at least the following information which
must be consistent in all material respects with the information provided in the public
notice applicable to that event:

(1) the total number of public sale tickets that have been designated for that class,
tier, or level of admission for the event in question;

(2) the sequential number of that individual ticket within the total number specified
in clause (1);

(3) the price at which the ticket has been sold by the ticket issuer or its authorized
agent, including any premium, service charge, or fee; and

(4) the on-sale date and time of the ticket.

Subd. 3.

Prohibitions.

In addition to the failure to comply with any other provision
of this section, it is unlawful for a ticket issuer to knowingly make material false or
misleading statements in connection with a public notice under this section.

Sec. 3.

[325E.70] FREE MARKET IN RESALE OF EVENT TICKETS.

Subdivision 1.

Prohibition.

It is unlawful for a ticket issuer to prohibit or restrict
the resale or offering for resale of an event ticket by a lawful possessor of the ticket.

Subd. 2.

Prohibited acts.

Ticket issuers are prohibited from engaging in the
following acts:

(1) purporting to impose license or contractual terms on the initial sale of event
tickets including, but not limited to, terms printed on the back of a physical ticket that
prohibit resale of the ticket, or that restrict the price or other terms and conditions under
which a ticket may be resold;

(2) requiring the purchaser of a ticket, whether for a single event or for a series or
season of events, to agree not to resell the ticket, or to resell the ticket only through a
specific channel approved by the ticket issuer;

(3) bringing legal action, based on an unlawful prohibition or restriction on resale of
an event ticket, against:

(i) a purchaser who resells or offers to resell an event ticket without permission of
the ticket issuer, or in violation of a restriction purportedly imposed by the ticket issuer;

(ii) persons who facilitate or provide services for the resale of event tickets without
permission or in alleged violation of a restriction; or

(iii) the operator of a physical or electronic marketplace in which a ticket is offered
for resale without permission or in alleged violation of a restriction;

(4) imposing a penalty on a ticket purchaser who resells or offers to resell an event
ticket without permission or in violation of a restriction purportedly imposed by the ticket
issuer, or treating a purchaser in any material way less favorably than a similarly situated
purchaser who does not resell or offer to resell an event ticket, or who complies with
resale restrictions purportedly imposed by the ticket issuer;

(5) employing technological means for the purpose or with the foreseeable effect
of prohibiting or restricting the resale of event tickets including, but not limited to,
issuing event tickets in an electronic form that is not readily transferrable to a subsequent
purchaser, or conditioning entry into the venue on presentation of a token, such as the
original purchaser's credit card or state-issued identification card, that cannot be readily
transferred to a subsequent purchaser; or

(6) seeking to limit or restrict the price, or to impose a minimum or maximum
price, at which an event ticket may be resold.

Sec. 4.

[325E.71] CONSUMER PROTECTION MINIMUM STANDARDS.

Subdivision 1.

Prohibition.

It is unlawful for a person subject to this section to
engage in the primary or secondary market for event ticket sales as a trade or business
without complying with the consumer protection minimum standards specified in this
section.

Subd. 2.

Persons subject to this section.

This section applies to all persons
engaged in the trade or business of:

(1) acting as a ticket issuer;

(2) engaging in the resale of event tickets; or

(3) providing a physical or electronic marketplace for the sale or resale of event
tickets by other persons.

Subd. 3.

Consumer protection minimum standards.

A person subject to this
section shall:

(a) maintain a toll-free telephone number for complaints and inquiries regarding its
activities in the sale or resale of event tickets;

(b) implement and reasonably publicize a standard refund policy that:

(1) provides a consumer who purchases an event ticket a full refund if:

(i) the event is canceled before the scheduled occurrence of the event and is not
rescheduled;

(ii) the event ticket received by the purchaser is counterfeit;

(iii) the event ticket has been canceled by the ticket issuer for nonpayment by the
original purchaser or for any reason other than an act or omission of the consumer;

(iv) the event ticket materially and to the detriment of the consumer fails to conform
to the description provided by the seller or reseller; or

(v) the event ticket was not delivered to the consumer before the occurrence of the
event unless failure of delivery was due to an act or omission of the consumer;

(2) includes a full refund of the full price paid by the consumer for the event ticket
together with any fees charged in connection with that purchase including, but not limited
to, convenience fees, processing fees, at-home printing charges, shipping and handling
charges, or delivery fees; and

(3) may condition entitlement to a refund upon timely return of the ticket purchased
and may include reasonable safeguards against abuse of the policy; and

(c) make available to consumers who purchase event tickets an independent
third-party dispute resolution procedure for resolving disputes with consumers regarding
the sale or resale of event tickets.

A person subject to this section, by engaging in the resale of event tickets, may
satisfy the requirements of this section by engaging in resale in a physical or electronic
marketplace that fully complies with this section.

Sec. 5.

[325E.72] ENFORCEMENT.

The attorney general shall enforce sections 325E.68 to 325E.72 under section 8.31.

Sec. 6. REPEALER.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 609.807, is repealed.

Sec. 7. EFFECTIVE DATE.

Sections 1 to 6 are effective January 1, 2012.

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