Congress to Hold Antitrust Hearing on Ticketmaster Following Taylor Swift Chaos
Congress is officially set to hold an antitrust hearing on Ticketmaster after the chaos that ensued as a result of Taylor Swift's tour 2023 presale last week, according to Reuters.
The hearing will be conducted by a U.S. Senate antitrust panel to highlight the lack of competition within the live music and ticketing industry, Senator Amy Klobuchar confirmed yesterday (Nov. 22), though a date and list of witnesses for the hearing has not yet been revealed.
Ticketmaster's Verified Fan presale for Swift's 2023 The Eras tour began Tuesday, Nov. 15, and so many users were on the system that the server crashed. While a percentage of fans were able to successfully purchase tickets through the presale, millions were unsuccessful, and Ticketmaster ultimately canceled the general ticket sale that was set to take place on Friday, Nov. 18. Subsequently, resale websites had tickets for the tour listed for amounts as high as $20,000, according to PopCrush.
While Swift's tour fiasco brought many of the already-existing issues within the ticket industry to light, the Justice Dept. has been investigating Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster, for a while now, as the company allegedly violated antitrust laws.
“Last week, the competition problem in ticketing markets was made painfully obvious when Ticketmaster’s website failed hundreds of thousands of fans hoping to purchase concert tickets. The high fees, site disruptions and cancellations that customers experienced shows how Ticketmaster’s dominant market position means the company does not face any pressure to continually innovate and improve,” Klobuchar stated [via Variety].
“That’s why we will hold a hearing on how consolidation in the live entertainment and ticketing industry harms customers and artists alike. When there is no competition to incentivize better services and fair prices, we all suffer the consequences.”