As a result of serious issues surrounding Ticketmaster’s handling of Taylor Swift tour ticket sales last week, a US Senate antitrust panel will hold a hearing on the lack of competition in the industry, the court announced. On Tuesday Sens Amy Klobuchar (Democrat of New York ) and Mike Lee (Republican of New York). The hearing follows reports of major outages and service delays on the Ticketmaster website that left fans unable to purchase concert tickets.
The date of the hearing and witnesses will be announced later; Klobuchar announced in a statement last week that a hearing was being prepared.
In a statement Friday, Swift said her staff asked Ticketmaster “many times if they could handle this type of demand and they assured us they could,” saying the situation was “very overwhelming to me,” adding adding that he was “very happy. to see how mistakes were made without trusting,” although he did not mention the incident or the trip in his multiple appearances at the American Music Awards on Sunday night.
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When contacted, a representative for Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation referred to the company’s statement from last week, which read in part: “The sold-out arenas made one thing clear: Taylor Swift is a force to be reckoned with and she continues to break records,” wrote Ticketmaster in its explanation. “We do our best to make buying tickets as easy as possible for fans, but that was not the case for many people trying to buy tickets for the Eras tour. We want to share some information to help you explain what happened.”
“Last week, the problem of competition in the ticket markets became painfully clear when the Ticketmaster website failed hundreds of thousands of fans hoping to buy concert tickets. High fees, site outages and customer cancellations show that a dominant position means Ticketmaster in the market that there is no pressure on the company to innovate and continuously improve,” said Klobuchar. “That’s why we’re holding a hearing on how consolidation in the live entertainment industry and ticket sales hurts both customers and performers. When there’s no competition to incentivize better service and fair pricing, we all suffer. “
“American consumers deserve a competitive advantage in every market, from supermarket chains to concert halls,” Lee said. “I look forward to exercising our Subcommittee’s oversight authority to ensure that anticompetitive mergers and exclusionary conduct do not disrupt an entertainment industry already struggling to recover from pandemic shutdowns.”
When tickets went on sale on November 15, the company’s website crashed due to fan demand, and those who managed to get in the queue had to wait more than two hours to get a chance buy the tickets. Other fans were surprised to be put on a waiting list. The backlash against Ticketmaster broke out, and representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for the company’s merger with LiveNation to be scrapped.
Last week, Klobuchar wrote a letter to Ticketmaster expressing concern about the lack of competition in the ticketing industry and asking if the company is taking steps to provide the best possible service to consumers.