Ticketmaster faces antitrust scrutiny after Taylor Swift ticket mayhem – TechCrunch

Ticketmaster is facing increased scrutiny from politicians after its chaotic Taylor Swift tour ticket pre-sales. Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said he is investigating whether Ticketmaster violated consumer rights and antitrust rules. Skrmetti is the latest politician to call attention to Ticketmaster and Live Nation’s control of the ticketing market.

This occurs when Ticketmaster canceled their public sales for Swift’s tour, called Eras. in a cheepTicketmaster said the cancellation was due to “extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand.”

The public sale would have been for tickets left over from the site’s troubled advance sales, which began Tuesday for members of its Verified Fan program. Many fans experienced technical glitches and hour-long wait times, with many ultimately unable to purchase a ticket.

According to the New York Times, Ticketmaster said in a now-deleted post that 3.5 million people signed up for the Verified Fan program. About 1.5 million received a special access code and the rest were placed on the waiting list. “Never before has a verified Fan for sale generated such attention or uninvited volume,” Ticketmaster said.

Skrmetti said he had received complaints from fans who tried to buy tickets for Eras. in a cheep On Thursday, the attorney general said other state attorneys general are also looking into the matter: “Ticketmaster’s decision to cancel sales underscores the important need for accountability. The fans deserve a fair chance to buy a ticket. I am encouraged by other state AGs who are also taking this issue seriously.”

The Washington Post reports that Skrmetti said Ticketmaster should have been better prepared for the high demand, questioning whether “because they have such a dominant position in the market, they felt they didn’t have to worry about it.”

In another tweet Before the sale was called off, the attorney general’s office said Skrmetti “is concerned about consumer complaints related to @Ticketmaster’s pre-sale of @taylorswift13 concert tickets. He and his Consumer Protection team will use all available tools to ensure that consumer protection laws are not violated.”

TechCrunch has contacted Ticketmaster and Skrmetti’s office for comment.

Eras is Swift’s first tour in four years and follows the release of her new album “Midnights.”

Other politicians who have raised concerns about the combined company of Ticketmaster and Live Nation, which merged in 2010, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. David N. Cicilline and Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr.

On Tuesday, Representative Ocasio-Cortez he said in a tweet on Tuesday that “Ticketmaster is a monopoly, its merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and it was necessary to control them. Divide them”.

cicilline representative tweeted on Wednesday that Ticketmaster’s “excessive wait times and fees are completely unacceptable, as seen with today’s @taylorswift13 tickets, and are a symptom of a larger problem. It’s no secret that Live Nation-Ticketmaster is an unchecked monopoly.”

and Representative Pascrell, Jr., who was among the millions of fans placed on the waiting list for Swift tickets, tweeted that Ticketmaster “The Ticketmaster-Live Nation monopoly should never have been merged and must be dissolved.”

Consumers are also pushing for the breakup of Ticketmaster and Live Nation. An alliance of consumer rights groups, including the antitrust nonprofit American Economic Freedoms Project, launched a campaign last month called Break Up Ticketmaster, saying that Ticketmaster’s “market power over live events is ripping off sports and music fans and undermining the vitality and independence of music. industry.”

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