National Consumers League

NCL statement on House Energy and Commerce Committee votes on H.R. 5104 and H.R. 5111


July 14, 2016

Contact: NCL Communications, Cindy Hoang,, (202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL), America’s pioneering consumer and worker advocacy organization, today released statements regarding the passage of two consumer-focused bills in the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.

NCL applauds the House Energy and Commerce committee’s passage of H.R. 5104, the Better On-line Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016, an excellent first step forward toward the goal of promoting a fair live event ticketing marketplace.

The following statement is attributable to John Breyault, the Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications and Fraud:

“The bipartisan BOTS Act represents an important first step in promoting a fair ticketing marketplace for all consumers. Prohibiting the use of ticket bots to electronically ‘jump the line,’ ahead of consumers patiently waiting to purchase tickets will help promote a fair live event ticketing marketplace for consumers. Although this bill’s passage is a significant win for consumers, this bill also represents a missed opportunity to protect consumers from unethical ticketing practices. Prohibiting bot usage alone as the BOTS Act proposes, only fixes part of the problem. To put more tickets in the hands of everyday fans at a fair price, the live event ticket market needs additional transparency to require disclosure of how many tickets actually go to general sale as well as greater consumer protections to help empower fans to make better purchasing decisions.”

NCL applauds the Commerce Committee’s bipartisan passage of H.R. 5111, the Consumer Review Fairness Act. H.R. 5111 will protect consumers’ First Amendment right to provide honest reviews of products and services without fear of legal retribution from merchants who hide behind non-disparagement clauses in their terms of service agreements.

The following statement is attributable to John Breyault, the Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications and Fraud:

“Consumers rely on honest product reviews to make many important purchasing decisions. Unfortunately, some merchants and vendors want to remove this quintessential American right of  free expression by inserting so called "non-disparagement" clauses that threaten legal action against consumers who post negative reviews  H.R. 5111 would nullify these ‘terms of service’ rules aimed at silencing honest feedback, allowing consumers to benefit from accurate reviews. NCL welcomes these protections.“


About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit