Taylor Swift accepts an award on stage during the MTV Europe Music Awards 2022 held at the PSD Bank Dome on November 13, 2022 in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Jeff Kravitz | Movie Magic | Getty Images
There’s just something about Taylor Swift and breakups.
Activists and lawmakers renew calls to split Ticketmaster and live nation After a fiasco over ticket sales for the pop star’s upcoming “Eras” tour, which is set to kick off in March.
Live Nation, which merged with Ticketmaster in 2010, has long faced criticism about its size and power in the entertainment industry. People ramped up their complaints this week when tickets for Swift tickets went pre-sold on the Ticketmaster website. The company was Forced to extend the pre-sale After fans flocked to the site, causing disruptions to the site and slow queues.
Ticket buyers immediately took to social media to complain after the site appeared to crash or freeze during purchases, leaving many unable to get tickets for the show. Some users were shown an error page stating, “We’re sorry! Something went wrong on our part and we need to start over. Broken things are a liability – our team is working on them so this doesn’t happen again.”
Lawmakers also called on the Justice Department to investigate the company.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. , in a tweet on Tuesday: “Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly.” “The merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they should be controlled. Break them up.”
Similarly, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, R-Conn., called the sale of Swift’s tour “an excellent example of how the Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger harms consumers by creating a near-monopoly,” in a tweet posted Tuesday.
“I have long urged the Department of Justice to investigate the state of competition in the ticketing industry,” he added. “Consumers deserve better than this anti-hero behaviour.”
Live Nation representatives did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Others complained about long wait times and confusion over “certified fan” tickets and pre-sale codes. The Certified Fan Program, created in 2017, is designed to keep tickets in the hands of actual fans, not distributors.
But this didn’t seem to work in many cases. Within hours, tickets for the tour were already on sale on the secondary market at exponential increments.
“Eras’ tour tickets are priced From $49 to $450, with VIP packages starting at $199 and going up to $899. Secondary market prices can be seen from $800 to $20,000 per ticket.
“The [Taylor Swift] The gate is not going well for many Swifties,” Rep. Bill Pascrell, DN.J., wrote in a tweet Tuesday. I’ve heard of the site crashing and fans waiting for hours. You’d think all that service and convenience fee could go to a website that works.”
Activists accused Ticketmaster and Live Nation of abusing their market power and called for the company to be broken up.
“Despite the promise of increased competition and consumer benefits, they now control 70% of the market for basic ticketing and live event venues,” according to A coalition of activists called the Ticketmaster Dispersal. “They raise ticket prices, charge for rip-offs, and take advantage of artists, independent venues, and fans. The DOJ can reverse this merger and put competition back into the industry. Help us claim that.”
Swift’s latest tour, which is coming on its heels Release of new record-breaking album, “Midnights,” She has scheduled 52 dates to date, the singer’s biggest tour to date. The “Eras” tour could break Swift’s own record for total ticket sales in North America.
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