Congress to hold hearing after Ticketmaster-Taylor Swift fiasco

Following the major problems surrounding ticket masterthe management of Taylor Swift tour ticket sales last week, a U.S. Senate antitrust panel will hold a hearing on the lack of competition in the industry, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Mike Lee (R-UT) announced Tuesday. The hearing comes after reports of major service outages and delays on Ticketmaster’s website that have prevented fans from buying concert tickets.

The hearing date and witnesses will be announced at a later date; Klobuchar announced in a statement last week that a hearing was underway.

In a statement Friday Swift said her team asked Ticketmaster “several times if they could handle that kind of request and we were sure they could. She said the situation “irritated me” and added that it was “excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen without recourse”. However, she did not mention the incident or the tour during several appearances at the American Music Awards on Sunday night.

Contacted by Varietya representative of Ticketmaster’s parent company, Live Nation, referred to the company statement last weekwhich stated in part: “The Eras on sale made one thing clear: Taylor Swift is an unstoppable force and continues to set records”, Ticketmaster written in his explanation. “We strive to make buying tickets as easy as possible for fans, but this has not been the case for many people trying to buy tickets for the Eras Tour. We want to share information to help to explain what happened.

“Last week, the problem of competition in ticketing markets became painfully evident when the Ticketmaster website let down hundreds of thousands of fans hoping to buy concert tickets. The high fees, site disruptions and cancellations customers have experienced show how Ticketmaster’s dominant position in the market means the company is under no pressure to innovate and continually improve,” Klobuchar said. “That’s why we’ll be hosting a hearing on how consolidation in the live entertainment and box office industry is hurting customers and performers. When there is no competition to incentivize better services and fair prices, we all suffer the consequences.

“American consumers deserve to benefit from competition in every market, from grocery chains to music venues,” Lee said. “I look forward to exercising the oversight authority of our subcommittee to ensure that anti-competitive mergers and exclusionary behavior do not cripple an entertainment industry already struggling to recover from pandemic shutdowns.”

When the tickets went on sale on November 15, the company website crashed because of fan demand, while tons of fans who queued up had to wait for more than two hours for the chance to buy tickets. Other fans were caught off guard by being sent to a waiting list. The backlash against Ticketmaster exploded, with representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appeal to society merger with LiveNation will be dismantled.

Last week, Klobuchar wrote a letter to Ticketmaster expressing concern about the lack of competition in the ticketing industry and questioning whether the company was taking the necessary steps to provide the best possible service to consumers.

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