US Senators to Hold Hearings Following Ticketmaster Taylor Swift Controversy

Two United States senators will spearhead a hearing to investigate the lack of competition in the US ticketing industry. Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar – who is Chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights – will lead the examination alongside Republican senator Mike Lee, a member of the subcommittee.

The announcement comes after Ticketmaster – who have, for years, been criticised for holding a lion’s share of the US ticket market – experienced significant service failures, customer delays and other issues when tickets to Taylor Swift‘s 2023 Eras North American tour went on pre-sale last week.

Klobuchar Tweeted About Ticketmaster’s “Monopoly” Earlier This Month

Last Tuesday (15th November), as pre-sales commenced for Swift’s first tour in five years, Ticketmaster’s website experienced outages due to what it later said was a “historically unprecedented demand with millions showing up.” Fans took to social media to complain of long wait times and crashes, with the ticketing agency saying at the time they were working to resolve “intermittent” issues.

Ticketmaster went on to postpone other pre-sales for the tour, and later cancelled the public on-sale altogether, citing “extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand.” The company was widely criticised by fans and lawmakers alike, with many arguing that Ticketmaster’s merger with Live Nation in 2009 had given them a monopoly over the US ticketing market.

“Last week, the competition problem in ticketing markets was made painfully obvious when Ticketmaster’s website failed hundreds of thousands of fans hoping to purchase concert tickets,” Klobuchar said in a statement earlier this week announcing the hearing.

“The high fees, site disruptions and cancellations that customers experienced shows how Ticketmaster’s dominant market position means the company does not face any pressure to continually innovate and improve. That’s why we will hold a hearing on how consolidation in the live entertainment and ticketing industry harms customers and artists alike. When there is no competition to incentivize better services and fair prices, we all suffer the consequences.”

Swift herself released a statement last week in which she said it was “excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse.” She added that it was “truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.” Ticketmaster later shared a public apology to Swift and her fans on their website.

Further Reading

Taylor Swift Just Became The First Artist To Sweep The Billboard Hot 100’s Entire Top 10

Ticketmaster Denies Reports Of Dodgy Resale Tactics, Launches Internal Review

Fans Were Left Waiting Outside Dua Lipa’s Sydney Concert After Ticketek’s System Crashed

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