US Senate to hold committee hearing following Taylor Swift Ticketmaster chaos

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A US Senate special committee will hold a hearing to examine the lack of competition in the ticketing industry, after thousands of Taylor Swift fans were let down by online sellers.

This follows reports of service outages and major delays on the Ticketmaster website, which prevented fans from buying tickets for the pop megastar’s Eras tour last Thursday.

The company eventually canceled the general sale to purchase tickets for the US leg of Swift’s tour, citing “insufficient ticket inventory” to meet “extraordinarily high demands.”

General ticket sales were due to open the following morning on Friday after the verified fan presale, before Ticketmaster canceled the public sale altogether.

Senator Amy Klobuchar said the incident made the problem in ticketing markets “painfully obvious” as she and fellow Senator Mike Lee announced plans for the hearing.

The pair are respectively chair and member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights.

“Last week, the problem of competition in ticketing markets became painfully evident when the Ticketmaster website let down hundreds of thousands of fans hoping to buy concert tickets,” Ms Klobuchar said.

“The high fees, site disruptions and cancellations customers have experienced show how Ticketmaster’s dominant position in the market means the company is under no pressure to innovate and continually improve.

“That’s why we’ll be hosting a hearing on how consolidation in the live entertainment and box office industry is hurting customers and performers.

“When there is no competition to incentivize better services and fair prices, we all suffer the consequences.”

She then added on Twitter that the problem went “way beyond Taylor Swift”.

Mr. Lee added, “American consumers deserve to benefit from competition in every market, from grocery chains to music venues.

“I look forward to exercising the oversight authority of our subcommittee to ensure that anti-competitive mergers and exclusionary behavior do not cripple an entertainment industry already struggling to recover from pandemic shutdowns.”

The hearing date and witnesses will be announced later.

In the aftermath of the Ticketmaster debacle, Swift expressed her anger and frustration over the hours fans spent trying to buy tickets.

Posting a story on Instagram, she wrote, “I’m not going to apologize to anyone because we asked them, repeatedly, if they could handle this kind of request and we were assured they would. could.

“It’s really amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they’ve suffered multiple bear attacks to get them.”

Of those who lost, Swift said she hoped to “give us more opportunities to come together and sing those songs.”

The singer’s 52-date Eras Tour kicks off March 17 in Glendale, Arizona, and culminates in five shows in Los Angeles ending August 9.

This is Swift’s first tour since 2018.

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