Entertainment

‘Industrial-scale ticket scalping’ Senator criticizes Ticketmaster over Taylor Swift concert debacle


WASHINGTON – Taylor Swift’s ticket debacle drew attention during Tuesday’s Senate hearings, which probed the lack of competition within the ticket industry and, following the company’s mishandling of the music superstar’s concert tickets, the ticket price. He severely criticized Master’s executives.

Swift fans were outraged Ticketmaster has canceled general ticket sales for November for Swift’s long-awaited new tour. A few days of commotion during the confirmed fan pre-sale left hundreds of thousands of fans unable to get their hands on a ticket, leaving them sober.

Joe Berchtold, President and CFO of Ticketmaster’s parent company, Live Nation Entertainment, defends his company, testifying that “industrial-scale ticket scalping” and unprecedented numbers of bots are responsible for the massive problem Did.

Taylor Swift poses for photographers as she arrives at the European MTV Awards 2022 in Dusseldorf, Germany. March 13, 2022.

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tomorrow: Taylor Swift’s Ticketmaster fiasco fuels federal concerns, fans lash out over tour tickets

“In hindsight, there are some things we could have done better,” says Berchtold. “To be clear, Ticketmaster accepts responsibility for being the industry’s first line of defense against bots.”

Swift was not present at the hearing.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Democratic, Minnesota, Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights, I criticized the company in a letter before. to the company’s president and CEO, Michael Rapino.

Klobuchar was particularly critical of Rapinoe, who vouched for lawmakers in Congress. In 2009, I heard he was ‘confident’ The merger will create an “easily accessible one-stop platform” for ticket distribution.

“Your confidence seems misplaced,” Klobuchar wrote.

Amy Edwards and Parker Harrison demonstrate outside the Capitol in Washington, DC, against the live entertainment ticket industry on January 24, 2023. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing this morning to investigate whether the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger stifled competition and hurt the consumer market.

Amy Edwards and Parker Harrison demonstrate outside the Capitol in Washington, DC, against the live entertainment ticket industry on January 24, 2023. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing this morning to investigate whether the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger stifled competition and hurt the consumer market.

What did senators say about the Ticketmaster controversy?

  • The hearing began with an opening address by the Senator, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Dick Durbin, Upcoming Ranking Member Sen. Lindsey Graham, Klobuchar, and Lee have all expressed concern about Ticketmaster’s dominance of the ticket market.

  • The senator lashed out at Berchtold for Ticketmaster’s mishandling of Swift’s concert tickets, the company’s overall ticketing practices, and its control over the marketplace.

  • Jerry Mickelson, CEO and President of JAM Productions, disputed Berchtold’s claim that bots were responsible for the Swift ticket crash. Mickelson told the committee, “You can’t blame bots for what happened to Taylor Swift. There’s more to the story you didn’t hear.”

  • Several senators, including a Republican senator from Tennessee. Marsha Blackburn also took issue with Ticketmaster’s bot defenses.

  • SeatGeek CEO Jack Groetzinger testified that live entertainment lacks “hard competition,” not only hurting consumers, but fearing losing Live Nation events. Groetzinger concluded his opening statement by stating that the only way to revive the industry is to split Ticketmaster and Live Nation.

  • Groetzinger also said Brooklyn’s Barclays Center had decided to part ways with SeatGeek for an alternative deal with Ticketmaster, amid questions about Live Nation’s marketplace power to punish venues that took advantage of competitors. Citing an article from Live Nation, he explained the threat of retaliation from Live Nation.

  • Klobuchar concluded that there was “apparently no transparency” in ticket pricing. After singer-songwriter Clyde Lawrence told the committee he wasn’t sure who was responsible for the surcharge, a series of questions were asked about who would set the final ticket price and fees.

Springsteen, Garth Brooks slammed Ticketmaster’s practices

Criticisms of Ticketmaster tickets –Sales practices and lack of competition are nothing newBut last year culminated after Swift’s upcoming Ellas Tour mishandled.

Fans and musicians of other music stars, including Bruce Springsteen, the Foo Fighters, and Garth Brooks, have long criticized Ticketmaster’s practices. Among the biggest complaints: Dynamic pricing that adjusts prices based on consumer demandAs a result, some fans were unable to purchase tickets.

The company’s dominance in the entertainment industry faces enormous scrutiny dating back to its time. Merged with Live Nation Entertainment in 2010eliminated Live Nation as a competitor.

Prior to the merger, Live Nation controlled 16.5% of the ticketing market, reducing Ticketmaster’s previous 82.9% share of the ticketing market to 66.4%. DOJ Amended Complaint Regarding Merger.

What did Swift say?

Published by Swift A scathing statement following Ticketmaster’s cancellation of future ticket salesemphasizing that she specifically asked the company if it could handle the demand for tickets for the show.

“I’ve asked many times if we can accommodate these kinds of requests, so I make no excuses for anyone,” Swift said. “It’s really amazing that 2.4 million people won tickets, but it’s really upsetting that so many of them feel like they’ve been through multiple bear attacks to get tickets. .”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY. Ticketmaster exec testifies before Senate about Taylor Swift ticket sales



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