Ticketmaster’s Taylor Swift Concert Fiasco Leads To U.S. Senate Probe

Ticketmaster’s Taylor Swift Concert Fiasco Leads To U.S. Senate Probe

News by Marge Serrano
Published: January 26, 2023

After a major fiasco involving ticket sales for Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour, a hearing was called. On Tuesday, U.S. senators slammed Live Nation Entertainment's lack of transparency and inability to block bot purchases of tickets. 

Live Nation Entertainment Inc’s subsidiary Ticketmaster, which has been unpopular with fans for years, has drawn fresh heat from U.S. lawmakers over how it handled ticket sales last fall for a significant event, Swift's "The Eras Tour,” her first in five years. Experts say Ticketmaster commands more than a 70% market share of primary ticket services for major U.S. concert venues. 

Joe Berchtold, president and chief financial officer of Live Nation, gave a statement to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday: “We apologize to the fans, we apologize to Ms. Swift, we need to do better and we will do better." 

"In hindsight, there are several things we could have done better – including staggering the sales over a longer period of time and doing a better job setting fan expectations for getting tickets," Berchtold said. 

In November last year, Ticketmaster canceled a planned ticket sale to the general public for Swift's “The Eras Tour” after more than 3.5 billion requests from fans, bots and scalpers overwhelmed its website. 

Senator Klobuchar, who heads the Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel, has said the issues that cropped up in November were not new and potentially stemmed from consolidation in the ticketing industry. 

Ticketmaster then denied any anticompetitive practices and noted it remained under a consent decree with the Justice Department following its 2010 merger with Live Nation, adding that there was no "evidence of systemic violations of the consent decree." 

Previously, another Ticketmaster dispute with the Justice Department culminated in a December 2019 settlement extending the consent agreement into 2025. 

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