It’s no secret that Taylor Swift fans were feeling slighted earlier this week. The chaos that ensued while attempting to snag tickets for her upcoming tour sparked several funny memes. Thankfully, the Speak Now singer – and the U.S. Department of Justice – have heard complaints loud and clear. On Friday (November 18), the NY Times made an announcement that an investigation into Live Nation Entertainment is launching.
Specifically, the officials hope to uncover “whether Live Nation Entertainment has abused its power over the multibillion-dollar live music industry.” The decision to open the investigation was in talks long before the issues with the Eras tour sale.
As Pitchfork notes, Live Nation and Ticketmaster came together in a 2010 merger. This led to the creation of Live Nation Entertainment. The Justice Department approved this under the condition that Ticketmaster would sell another company it owned to a rival firm.
Additionally, the two entities’ job was to license their ticketing software to another rival called Anshutz Entertainment Group. However, in 2019 the Justice Department amended the prior agreement with LNE after discovering the original terms had been violated.
When tickets to Swift’s concerts went on sale earlier this week through Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program, fans thought there would be a handle on the number of bots. Due to unprecedented demands, though, the website faced technical difficulties causing users to experience long wait times.
Consequently, the company cancelled the public on-sale date for Friday (November 18). This earned them an upset response from the Midnights hitmaker.
“I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them, multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand we were assured they could,” she wrote to her followers. “It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets. It really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.”
When tickets initially went on sale, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, it’s a merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in. Break them up.”
Elsewhere, Senator Amy Klobuchar wrote an open letter to Ticketmaster’s president and CEO Michael Rapino. “I write to express serious concerns about the state of competition in the ticketing industry and its harmful impact on consumers,” she began.
“Reports about system failures, increasing fees, and complaints of conduct that violate the consent decree Ticketmaster is under suggest that Ticketmaster continues to abuse its market positions.”
Do you think that Live Nation Entertainment should be under investigation? Sound off in the comments, and check back later for any updates on the ongoing case.