Ticketmaster’s Taylor Swift fiasco sparks Senate hearing
In a bipartisan response to Taylor Swift’s Ticketmaster ticketing fiasco, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) announced Tuesday that a Senate subcommittee will hold a hearing to address the lack of competition in the ticketing industry.
The hearing, which is not yet scheduled, will take place before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights, which Klobuchar will chair and Lee will serve as a senior member. The announcement comes a week after Ticketmaster, which controls the vast majority of US ticket sales, came under immense scrutiny for botching its much-anticipated ticket sales for Swift’s upcoming stadium tour.
“Last week, the competitive problem in the ticket markets became painfully clear when Ticketmaster’s website failed hundreds of thousands of fans hoping to buy concert tickets,” Klobuchar said in a statement. “The high fees, website disruptions and cancellations experienced by customers show that Ticketmaster’s dominant market position means the company is not under pressure to constantly innovate and improve.”
Lee added that “American consumers deserve the benefits of competition in all markets, from grocery chains to concert halls,” noting the importance of “supporting an entertainment industry already struggling to recover from pandemic to recover from lockdowns”.
In a statement on the news of the upcoming hearing, Ticketmaster defended itself, saying that it “takes a significant share of the primary ticketing market due to the large gap that exists between the quality of the Ticketmaster system and the next best primary ticketing system.” has services. ”
Much of the criticism of Ticketmaster over the past week has focused on its merger with Live Nation in 2010, which resulted in the company controlling an estimated 70% of the ticketing market. Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.) was among the first prominent voices to address the issue amid Swift’s ticketing frenzy last Tuesday, tweeting, “Ticketmaster is a monopoly, [its] The merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and it must be [reined] in. Break ’em up.”
Critics say the company’s apparent monopoly allowed it to offer a subpar service fraught with technical glitches that proved unable to meet customer demand. Many people frustrated by the ticket-buying ordeal over the past week stressed that Ticketmaster had allowed a set number of customers to access Tuesday’s sale and should therefore be adequately prepared for what was later described as “historically unprecedented”. to meet demand.
Instead, many of these customers were faced with various error messages and hours of waiting when attempting to make their purchases. Fans who couldn’t get through on Tuesday were disappointed again when Ticketmaster finally canceled plans to sell more tickets later in the week.
Swift, one of the most popular recording artists of all time, eventually chimed in on the mess, telling fans she was also disappointed with Ticketmaster.
“I will not apologize to anyone because we asked them several times if they could handle this type of demand and we were assured they could,” she said of the company. “It’s really amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that many of them feel like they went through multiple bear attacks to get them.”