Taylor Swift’s legion of rabid fans may be able to accomplish something decades of legal scholars, millions in political lobbying, and the Biden administration could not: implement meaningful antitrust reform.
Sources speak in a The New York Times Report Friday says us The Department of Justice launched an antitrust investigation into Live Nation Entertainment, Ticketmaster’s parent company, after disastrous Fallout from the pop star’s recent ticket sales explosion. The investigation into the ticketing giant, long disdained by both consumers and artists alike, will reportedly revolve around whether or not it possesses anti-competitive monopoly power in the music industry.
Ticketmaster website collapsed Earlier this week, under the overwhelming pressure of Swift’s fans desperately trying to buy pre-sale tickets for the artists’ “The Eras” tour. On Thursday, the day Swift tickets were supposed to become valuable to the public, TicketEl-Sayed made the unprecedented decision to cancel ticket sales altogether. In a tweet, Ticketmaster said they chose to cancel the sale due to “extraordinarily high ticket sales demands and insufficient remaining ticket inventory”.
Although the disastrous handling of Swift tickets will certainly come to light in the investigation, DOJ officials are said to have had their eyes on Ticketmaster for months, notes the Times. Investigators have spoken with music venues, and others in the industry to try to determine whether or not Ticketmaster’s notorious business practices amount to monopolistic actions. The Live Nation Entertainment juggernaut is a 2010 hit merger Between Live Nation and Ticketmaster who were among the leaders in the industry The biggest players of that time.
DOJ investigators aren’t the only ones looking into Ticketmaster, either. This week, after a wave of complaints from Swift’s fans, The Attorneys General of Tennessee And North Carolina launched its own investigations into the company’s business practices to determine whether they violated consumer rights and antitrust laws. Congressmen, meanwhile, are It said It plans to hold a hearing by the end of the year where they will discuss Ticketmaster’s mismanagement of Swift ticket sales and other aspects of the business that consumers have decried for years.
“Ticketmaster’s strength in the core ticket market insulates it from the competitive pressures that typically drive companies to innovate and improve their services. This can lead to the kinds of dramatic service failures we’ve seen this week, where consumers are the ones paying the price,” we Senator Amy klobuchar wrote in a message Addressed to Ticketmaster.
Swift, who’s had her share of Cash For her alleged complicity in the ticket drama, she spoke out against Ticketmaster this week in Instagram post.
“There are many reasons why people are having trouble trying to get tickets and I’m trying to figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward,” Swift wrote. I won’t make excuses to anyone because we asked them several times if they could handle this kind of request and we made sure they could. It’s really amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but what really bothers me is how many of them felt like they had multiple bear attacks to get them.”
The ongoing outrage expressed by Swift fans has tracked the antitrust concerns of Ticketmaster experts and advocates for years. Earlier this year, a coalition of organizations led by the American Economic Freedoms Project launched a news campaign aimed at Dismantle Ticketmaster. The alliance says Ticketmaster’s continued market dominance, which they say accounts for up to 70% of the market for primary tickets and live event venues, has taken advantage of customers and held sports and music fans “hostage”.
Break Up Ticketmaster Alliance said in statement Friday. “This is a day of optimism and hope for the more than 40,000 people who have called on the Department of Justice to break up Live Nation-Ticketmaster, a company bent on industry that has broken its will since its entities merged in 2010.”
Live Nation Entertainment did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.
The massive backlash from Swift fans this week is just the latest in a string of high-profile vocal complaints that have been leveled against Ticketmaster. In October, fans tried to buy tickets for Blink It was a 182-round reunion forced to pay exorbitant prices, in some cases over $600, for general admission tickets. These ridiculous prices are made possible, in part, by Ticketmaster’s algorithm called “dynamic pricing,” an anti-speculation feature built into Coordination With Bruce Springsteen. that Model, which works somewhat like Uber’s surprise pricing, aims to measure the market price of a concert ticket and raise prices high enough to effectively weed out the sellers. In effect, the system ends up pricing consumers of tickets entirely.
Elsewhere, critics did Accused Ticketmaster to manipulate prices and withhold tickets, introducing ever more cumbersome “service fees” and difficult to analyze.
“Every day Americans are scammed and blackmailed by Ticketmaster into wanting to watch their favorite sports teams and artists perform,” Helen Brosnan, CEO of Fight Corporate Monopolies V said statement. “More than a decade later, their merger has resulted in consumers being held hostage by a corporation that uses its monopoly power to make everyone’s experience miserable — artists, concert-goers, sports fans and independent venues alike. This should never have happened in the first place and the Department of Justice should intervene and dismantle it.”