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Music Ticket Scalping And Re-Selling Websites Are Ripping Off Aussies, Labor Says

Some concert tickets are being sold at a 374% markup.

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Labor frontbencher Tony Burke is calling on the government to crackdown on scalping and ticket re-selling websites.

Burke, an avid musician and concert goer, introduced a private members motion on Monday calling on the government to step in to help Aussie consumers being ripped off by the secondary ticket market.

Sites like Ticketmaster Resale and ViaGoGo claim to offer fans a way of disposing unwanted music, sports and theatre tickets but are also used by scalpers and scammers to offer tickets to sold-out events at inflated prices.

In March, VIP tickets to Justin Bieber's Brisbane concert worth $539 were being sold on Ticketmaster Resale at a 374% markup for $2,555.

Last week, within minutes of UK musician Ed Sheeran's Australian tour selling out, tickets were being offered for more than $3,000 on ticket reselling websites when the top price was $186.

Ticketmaster's parent company, Live Nation, reportedly made $1 billion from secondary ticket sales last year from Ticketmaster Resale, TicketsNow, and SeatWave, the ABC said in February.

Music fans are missing out on tickets, Burke says, no only because bots buy up tickets in bulk and on-sell them at inflated prices, but because there is no guarantee the tickets bought on reselling websites are real.

Burke's daughter's friends bought tickets to the Byron Bay Bluesfest music festival in March from an online reseller that turned out to be fake. They were refused entry at the gate.

He wants the government to step in and crack down on ticket scamming.

Australian website Ticketmaster Resale and Swiss reseller Via Go Go have been referred to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for misleading and deceptive conduct.

At the time of publishing communications and arts minister Mitch Fifield had not responded to BuzzFeed News requests for comment.

Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.

Contact Alice Workman at alice.workman@buzzfeed.com.

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