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Ticketmaster Will Now Have to Explain Itself to Lawmakers

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“We asked them, multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand,” Swift said about Ticketmaster in a statement

“We asked them, multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand,” Swift said about Ticketmaster in a statement
Image: Theo Wargo (Getty Images)

The fallout continues from last week’s Ticketmaster fiasco as Taylor Swift fans scrambled to buy tickets to the popstar’s upcoming The Eras Tour. The surge promptly crashed Ticketmaster’s website. In the aftermath, an echoing battlecry from fans, musicians, and politicians emerged against Ticketmaster for their alleged mishandling of the tour’s presale. Today, Democratic Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar announced a bipartisan hearing with Republican Utah Senator Mike Lee to investigate Ticketmaster’s monopoly on live events.

Klobuchar and Lee are the chair and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights which will investigate Ticketmaster’s handling of Swift’s presale for the Eras Tour, according to Klobuchar’s website. Klobuchar wrote a letter to Live Nation Entertainment CEO Michael Rapino over her concerns about the level of influence Ticketmaster has on the live event industry. The date of the upcoming hearing and any witnesses called will be announced at a later date.

“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,” Klobuchar said in a press release. “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 incentivize better services and fair prices, we all suffer the consequences.”

Ticketmaster is a giant that certainly won’t go down without a fight. Swift herself expressed her frustration after the presale chaos erupted for her upcoming tour, which is scheduled to begin this spring. “There are a multitude of reasons why people had such a hard time trying to get tickets and I’m trying to figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward,” Swift wrote in a statement on her Instagram story this past Friday. “I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked [Ticketmaster], multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could.”

Last Tuesday, verified fans who received a special access code could participate in presale for tickets to Swift’s The Era’s Tour. Presale began promptly at 10 a.m. ET for East Coast venues, and 20 minutes later, Ticketmaster’s website began crashing. Website outages plagued Ticketmaster throughout the rest of the day and Ticketmaster scrambled to reschedule the remaining presale for later times to ease the traffic burden.

However, the company confirmed on Twitter Thursday, November 17 that the public general sale for tickets that was rescheduled to begin on Friday, November 18 was cancelled due to “extraordinarily high demand.” Ticketmaster claimed later that upwards of 2.4 million tickets were already sold, and the company later apologized to both Swift and Swifties alike.

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