The Taylor Swift Ticketmaster saga continues Tuesday as Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, name upon main ticketing company executives as witnesses to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition, Antitrust and Consumer Rights.
In a liberate from the Senate, Klobuchar and Lee will probably be “examining the lack of competition in the ticketing industry titled “That’s the Ticket: Promoting Competition and Protecting Consumers in Live Entertainment.”
President and CFO of Live Nation Entertainment, Ticketmaster’s parent company, Joe Berchtold, and CEO of SeatGeek, Jack Groetzinger, will both be called as witnesses at the hearing on problem’s in America’s ticketing markets.
Swift reached a new peak in her own folklore last year after millions of fans lined up for hours in online queues to purchase tickets in November to “The Eras Tour” in 2023, only to be denied an opportunity to see the “Anti-Hero” singer at one of the 35 stadium stops.
TAYLOR SWIFT BREAKS SILENCE ON TICKETMASTER FIASCO
Senator Amy Klobuchar will call witnesses for Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Problems in America’s Ticketing Markets sparked by Taylor Swift’s Ticketmaster fiasco. (Getty Images / Getty Images)
Jerry Mickelson, CEO of JAM Productions, Sal Nuzzo of The James Madison Institute, Kathleen Bradish from the American Antitrust Institute and Clyde Lawrence of the band Lawrence will also be called on as witnesses at the 10 a.m. hearing.
Chairwoman Klobuchar announced the formation of the antitrust subcommittee one week after the ticketing disaster where lawmakers said the “vital carrier disasters” on Ticketmaster’s website demanded oversight from antitrust regulators.
“Last week, the contest drawback in ticketing markets was once made painfully obtrusive when Ticketmaster’s website online failed loads of hundreds of enthusiasts hoping to buy live performance tickets,” Klobuchar said in a statement at the time.
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“The top charges, web page disruptions and cancelations that consumers skilled presentations how Ticketmaster’s dominant marketplace place approach the corporate does now not face any power to repeatedly innovate and enhance.”
Taylor Swift sparked fan fury in November after Ticketmaster sold out of pre-sales and canceled regular sales. (Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images)
Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged in 2010 after a Justice Department-brokered settlement officials said would encourage competition and send ticket prices down.
Klobuchar, along with Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. and Edward Markey, D-Mass., said in a November letter that the ticket sales and the distribution company should be broken up if any misconduct is uncovered.
“An investigation on my own does not anything for the stakeholders already harmed by means of Live Nation’s marketplace dominance and apparently ongoing anticompetitive habits,” the lawmakers said as they questioned Ticketmaster’s estimated 60% control of the market for major events.
TAYLOR SWIFT TOUR DEBACLE: TICKETMASTER AND LIVE NATION MAY NEED BREAKUP, DEMOCRATIC SENATORS SAY
“If the investigation unearths that Live Nation has persevered to abuse its dominant marketplace place however two prior consent decrees, we urge the dept to imagine unwinding the Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger and breaking apart the corporate. This is also the one option to in point of fact give protection to shoppers, artists and venue operators and to revive pageant within the ticketing marketplace.”
Sens. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., also sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission and urged the consumer protection agency to clarify what it’s doing to crack down on ticket scammers who use bots to hoard tickets.
The hearing will be held before the full Senate Judiciary Committee with Chair Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and incoming Ranking Member Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar will lead the hearing on problems in America’s ticketing markets. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)
More than 3.5 million pre-registered Swifties queued up during the “Verified Fan” pre-sales, but were never able to buy a seat after Ticketmaster sold more than 2 million tickets in the initial rush. The company later canceled the public sale due to “inadequate ultimate price ticket stock.”
One of Ticketmaster’s largest shareholders said “14 million folks” attempted to log on and purchase tickets.
On the day general sale tickets were supposed to be made available, Swift broke her silence and addressed the fiasco.
“It is going with out pronouncing that I’m extraordinarily protecting of my enthusiasts,” Swift wrote. “There are a mess of explanation why folks had this type of exhausting time looking to get tickets and I’m attempting to determine how this case can also be progressed transferring ahead. I’m now not going to make excuses for any person as a result of we requested them, a couple of occasions, if they may take care of this type of call for and we had been confident they may. It’s in point of fact wonderful that 2.4 million folks were given tickets, however it actually pisses me off that a large number of them really feel like they went thru a number of endure assaults to get them.”
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A few Swifties then filed a lawsuit against Ticketmaster and Live Nation alleging Ticketmaster engaged in antitrust violations, deceptive practices, fraud and price-fixing. The suit also accuses Ticketmaster of encouraging scalpers because the company earns income from fees when tickets are resold on its platform.
Country singer Zach Bryan said last year that he was “carried out” with using Ticketmaster, and has since stuck to his plan.
He released a surprise live album last month titled, “All My Homies Hate Ticketmaster,” and only sold tickets to his shows through AXS.
“Seems like there’s a large factor with honest price ticket costs to are living presentations in recent years. I’ve met children at my presentations who’ve paid upwards of 4 hundred dollars to be there and I’m carried out with it,” Bryan wrote on Instagram on Christmas Day.
“I’ve determined to play a restricted choice of headline presentations subsequent yr to which I’ve carried out all I will be able to to make costs as reasonable as conceivable and to turn out to folks tickets don’t have to price $450 to look a excellent and truthful display… I imagine running magnificence folks must nonetheless be capable to manage to pay for tickets to presentations. I’m so so bored with folks pronouncing issues can’t be carried out about this huge factor whilst massive monopolies sit down there stealing cash from running magnificence folks.”
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