After the difficulties that Ticketmaster had in managing the sale of Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour” tickets the previous week, the United States Senate Antitrust Commission is going to hold a hearing on the lack of competition that exists in the industry of selling tickets.
The company made the announcement about the cancellation of the general sale of tickets for Taylor Swift concerts in North America in 2023 on Thursday, November 17. They cited “very high demand” and “insufficient ticket inventory” as the reasons for the cancellation.
This occurred after a large number of purchasers reported experiencing various types of technical difficulties while attempting to access the Ticketmaster pre-sale for “The Eras Tour” on Tuesday (November 15), such as lengthy waiting periods and website outages.
After then, Ticketmaster announced that there was “unprecedented demand in history” as “millions” of Taylor Swift fans rushed to get tickets to the concert. Since then, it has been claimed that on that particular day, there were 14 million users who tried to make a purchase through the website but only 2.4 million people were successful in doing so.
Now, Reuters reports that Congress will hold hearings on the absence of competition in the field of ticket sales; however, the date for these hearings has not yet been determined. This information was validated by Senator Amy Klobuchar, who serves as the commission’s chairwoman, the day before yesterday (November 22).
Senators Klobuchar and Mike Lee, the ranking Republican on the committee, did not offer a list of witnesses for the committee.
According to Klobuchar, “the exorbitant costs, site outages, and cancellations that customers faced illustrate that Ticketmaster’s dominating position in the market implies that the corporation does not face the necessity to constantly innovate and improve.”
“We will host a hearing on how the consolidation of the live entertainment and ticketing industry is affecting both customers and artists,” the committee said in its statement.
Swift recognised that it had been “very hard to get tickets” for some of her fans in a statement that she released on Friday (18 November), despite the fact that Ticketmaster had “assured” her that she could handle the tremendous demand for her concert.
Later on, the company issued an apology to customers who claimed to have had a “awful time” navigating its website, saying in a statement that “We strive to make it as easy as possible for fans to acquire tickets.”
It has been reported that the Department of Justice in the United States is beginning an antitrust inquiry into Live Nation, which is the corporation that controls Ticketmaster. At the same time, several lawmakers in the United States have attacked the aforementioned businesses.
The company that is now known as Live Nation Entertainment was formed after Ticketmaster and Live Nation combined in 2010. The merger was approved by the Justice Department at the time, but in 2019 an amendment was made to the contract because of violations of the terms of the original deal (via Billboard).
The live music industry is currently controlled by Live Nation Entertainment for the most part (about 70 percent).
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a congresswoman representing New York, is one of the lawmakers that has spoken out in response to the Taylor Swift scandal. She stated in a tweet that “A daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, its merger with LiveNation should never have been permitted, and they need to be monitored.” Ticketmaster’s merger with LiveNation also should not have been approved. They should be smashed.
Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Scrmetty is investigating Ticketmaster.
Ticketmaster denies anti-competitive acts and maintains it complied with a consent order after its 2010 merger. The business said there was no “proof of systemic consent decree violations.”
Ticketmaster has a big portion of the primary ticketing services market due to its superior quality compared to the next best system.
Klobuchar was among three lawmakers who urged Ticketmaster and Live Nation Entertainment should be abolished if misbehaviour is proven.
Swift fans, including some lawyers, have launched an online campaign against Ticketmaster.
“Vigilante Legal” says, “There is no fan base better qualified to defeat Ticketmaster.” We have a large, engaged online community; if we work together, we can alter the music industry.