Live Music

Senator confirms anti-trust hearing concerning Ticketmaster

Featured image credit: UltimateWarrior13/ CC BY-SA 4.0/ Edited for size

Featured image credit: UltimateWarrior13/ CC BY-SA 4.0/ Edited for size

Ticketmaster and Live Nation will be the topic of a US Senate anti-trust panel hearing on the lack of competition in the country’s ticketing industry. 

The hearing follows Ticketmaster’s issues with a Taylor Swift pre-sale, which saw millions of fans attempting to purchase tickets. Fans struggled for hours with crashes and glitches, with tickets soon listed on resale sites for as much as $22,700 (£18,688/€21,788) according to Reuters. 

The ticketing company and live entertainment giant explained that the pre-sale issues were caused by “unprecedented demand”. Ticketmaster subsequently cancelled the Taylor Swift general sale. 

Now, Senator Amy Klobuchar and Senator Mike Lee, chairwoman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights, have announced they would be holding a hearing.

Klobuchar said in a statement: “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. 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 incentivise better services and fair prices, we all suffer the consequences.”

The hearing date and witnesses will be announced in due course. 

In its explanation last week, Live Nation denied anti-competitive practices and said: “Ticketmaster has a significant share of the primary ticketing services market because of the large gap that exists between the quality of the Ticketmaster system and the next best primary ticketing system. The market is increasingly competitive nonetheless, with rivals making aggressive offers to venues.”