After its disorganised presales for tickets to Taylor Swift’s tour, Ticketmaster is under increased criticism from legislators. According to Jonathan Skrmetti, the attorney general of Tennessee, Ticketmaster may have broken antitrust laws and consumer rights. Skrmetti is the most recent legislator to draw attention to Live Nation’s and Ticketmaster’s dominance of the ticketing industry.
This comes after Ticketmaster stopped offering general tickets for Swift’s Eras tour. The cancellation was brought on by “extraordinarily high requests on ticketing systems and inadequate residual ticket inventory to match that demand,” according to a tweet from Ticketmaster.
The controversial site’s presales, which began on Tuesday for participants of its Verified Fan programme, would have been for any tickets still available after they were sold in the public auction. Many fans encountered technological difficulties and endured lengthy waits before being able to purchase a ticket.
The New York Times reported that Ticketmaster claimed that 3.5 million individuals registered for the Verified Fan programme in a now-deleted post. A unique access code was granted to about 1.5 million people, and the other people were placed on a waiting list. Ticketmaster stated that “never before has a Verified Fan on sale garnered such much attention—or unwelcome volume.”
Fans who attempted to acquire tickets for Eras complained to Skrmetti, according to Skrmetti. Ticketmaster’s decision to halt sales highlights the critical need for accountability, the attorney general said in a tweet on Thursday, adding that other state attorneys general are also looking into the situation. A fan’s right to purchase a ticket should be upheld. I find it encouraging that other state attorneys general are treating this matter seriously.
Ticketmaster should have been better prepared for the strong demand, according to Skrmetti, who also questioned whether “since they have such a dominant market position, they felt like they didn’t need to worry about it,” according to The Washington Post.
The attorney general’s office stated Skrmetti “is concerned about consumer concerns linked to @Ticketmaster’s pre-sale of @taylorswift13 concert tickets in another tweet before the sale was suspended. To make sure that no consumer protection rules were broken, he and his colleagues would utilise every instrument at their disposal.
For a response, TechCrunch has been in touch with Skrmetti’s office and Ticketmaster.
Swift’s next tour, “Eras,” her first in four years, follows the release of her most recent album, “Midnights.”
Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, David N. Cicilline, and Bill Pascrell Jr. are among the legislators who have voiced their concerns with the 2010 merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation.
“Ticketmaster is a monopoly, its merger with LiveNation should never have been permitted, and they needed to be reigned in,” stated Representative Ocasio-Cortez in a tweet on Tuesday. Split them up.
Ticketmaster’s “high wait times and surcharges are entirely unacceptable, as witnessed with today’s @taylorswift13 tickets, and are a sign of a broader problem,” said Representative Cicilline in a tweet on Wednesday. Unchecked monopoly Live Nation-Ticketmaster is well known.
As one of the millions of Swift fans placed on a waiting list, Representative Pascrell Jr. wrote, “The Ticketmaster-Live Nation monopoly should never have been allowed to merge and must be broken up.”
Additionally, consumers are advocating for the separation of Ticketmaster and Live Nation. Break Up Ticketmaster is a campaign started by a coalition of consumer rights organisations, including the antitrust nonprofit American Economic Liberties Project, that claims Ticketmaster’s “market power over live events is ripping off sports and music fans and undermining the vibrancy and independence of the music industry.”