Senators investigate Ticketmaster’s problems


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Taylor Swift performs during her “Red” tour in 2019 in Hindmarsh, Australia. The Australian tour was completed shortly before the beginning of the coronavirus in 2020.

After the Taylor Swift Eras concert fiasco, anger at the ticket-selling company Ticketmaster has increased rapidly. With claims of lack of action against robot buyers and resellers, the Senate Judiciary Committee has begun investigating the company.

Ticketmaster, as a company, focuses on selling tickets and merchandise to fans, which it does in tandem with Live-Nation, a company that controls and leases concert venues to artists. These companies’ power over tickets and artists has caused many to label them as a monopoly over the concert industry. In the past decade, these companies have merged into Ticketmaster-Live-Nation.

The Associated Press stated: “Ticketmaster is the world’s largest ticket seller, processing 500 million tickets each year in more than 30 countries. Around 70% of tickets for major concert venues in the U.S. are sold through Ticketmaster, according to data in a federal lawsuit filed by consumers last year.”

Taylor Swift’s tickets crisis has launched an investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding issues with not allowing fans with presale codes to buy first, the number of bots on the site, ticket markups and the influence resellers have.

Problems with Ticketmaster have been far-reaching, including for many students at THS.

Senior Emma Bowman, who was lucky enough to acquire tickets, commented on the ticket crisis: “Ticketmaster [is at fault]. They knew how many presale codes they sent out, and they should have made you enter the code before the queue.”

By this point, Senators have questioned why the Ticketmaster-Live-Nation merger was approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission in the first place, on which the Associated Press commented, “‘The fact of the matter is, Live Nation/Ticketmaster is the 800-pound gorilla here,’ said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat. ‘This whole concert ticket system is a mess, a monopolistic mess.’”

The final aspect of the company that was criticized was Ticketmaster’s huge markups for tickets, fees that mainly go to the company rather than artists. For example, a $30 ticket will end up costing the customer $42 due to markups and fees.

The recent Eras ticket fiasco has brought many of Ticketmaster-Live-Nation’s actions to light, with Senators investigating the company’s actions against robots and resellers and possibly questioning the reversal of the merger.