Ticketmaster apologized to Taylor Swift and her fans during a hearing following the scandal that led to her ticket sales
ticket masterwhich merged with LiveNation in 2010, has faced repeated criticism from fans for the control that the company has exercised over the music market in recent years. In specified the senator Amy Klobuchar, who defends consumer rights in United States, Ticketmaster is responsible for 8% of ticket sales in that country, which causes a monopoly and artists are forced to sell their tickets through the platform.
Although the problem with ticket master years, the scandal broke out when the tickets for the new tour of Taylor Swift they went on sale in mid-November and high demand took over the site, angering fans who couldn’t get tickets. Therefore, they decided to file a lawsuit against the company for “fraud, price fixing and antitrust violations”, alleging that the “intentional deception” allowed scalpers to buy most tickets.
To the grandstand!
D.During the first hearing which took place on January 24 of this year, Senator Amy Klobuchar criticized the company not only for the corruption in the entrances of Taylor Swift , but also because of its market power in three sectors of live entertainment: ticketing, promotion and venues. “I think you’re going to see some changes right away, small changes, but some changes, it seems.”
For his part, Joe Berchtold, President and CFO of Live Nation Entertainmentapologized for the ticket issue, where the singer’s fans were no longer able to get tickets on general sale, however, he reiterated that it was a bot attack. “We apologize to the fans. We apologize to Taylor Swift. We have to do better and we will do better.” added. In response, Senator Marsha Blackburn criticized the company for not having security measures in place to prevent bots. “The problem is that you have to reinforce your systems”, added.
Berchthold also explained that the ticket market has been affected by what he called “ticket reselling on an industrial scale”, with second hand sales starting online even before the official sale of Taylor Swift. He also argued that the high ticket prices were not set by ticket masterbut by the artist.
Before the hearing, a group of fans of Taylor Swift held a demonstration outside the court where they stated that they received a notification to be part of the pre-sale in November The Eras Tour in Philly. However, when they entered the page, the “They kicked out several times” because “If I put tickets in the cart, the bots, other people, would take them instantly. How could they get them out of my cart? None of it made sense to me.”
Ticketmaster’s monopoly must end
During the hearing, the executive director of Seat Geek, Jack Groetzinger, also criticized that ticketmaster, maintain full control of events where performers are forced to accept the fees that are added to the purchase of a ticket. Groetzinger he compared the situation to that of the Hollywood studios in the 1930s and 1940s, where the distribution and exhibition of films was controlled until the federal government intervened. “That is a solution that must be looked at”said.
Similarly, legislators began to question the adherence of Live Nation Entertainment with ticketmaster, a combination that brought together promotion, venue and ticketing, and raised concerns that the company would use its market power to stifle competition from rivals.
the senator Amy Klobuchar explained that LiveNation is so powerful that “you don’t even need to apply pressure” in the places for them to use the services of ticketmaster, arguing that the companies “they fall into the trap” for fear of reprisals from LiveNation. This causes an increase in the costs of the tickets and that “The live event experience has become increasingly out of reach for so many fans.”
Nevertheless, Berchtold externalized that ticket master ha “lost, not won, market share” since the merger, due to high competition from the secondary ticketing market, but acknowledged that there were problems over the “ticket reselling on an industrial scale”, that needed to be resolved.
For his part, klobuchar reiterated that ticket master controlled 87% of the touring lineup of headlining artists, thus he maintained that the company had a monopoly on “the three corners of the triangle, the combination of ticket sales, promotion and stadiums, or long-term contracts with stadiums” and they should think of a solution for consumers.