US politicians have announced they will look into Ticketmaster’s dominance after the company endured the wrath of Taylor Swift over handling sales for her highly anticipated tour.
Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee said a competition subcommittee would look into “the lack of competition in the ticket industry.”
High fees, issues with Ticketmaster’s website, and cancellations show that it “faces no pressure to continuously innovate and improve,” Klobuchar said.
Swift said last week it was ‘heartbreaking’ to see what people have endured while trying to get tickets to her upcoming shows in the US, her first tour since 2018.
Fans said they waited hours and were repeatedly banned from the website on Thursday, with Ticketmaster canceling Friday’s sale due to “extraordinarily high demand” and “insufficient” tickets.
These issues occurred just days after the site crashed again due to high demand during a presale.
Ticketmaster said more than 3.5 million people had signed up for the general sale and that it planned to allow 1.5 million to participate, with the rest going on a waitlist.
However, he said “bots” — automated requests — and demand from those who hadn’t previously registered had swamped his website with 3.5 billion system requests, four times the previous peak.
“I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them, multiple times, if they could handle this kind of request and we were assured they could,” Quick said on Instagram.
She said she was “pissed” and was trying to make things better.
Ticketmaster, which dominates the US ticket industry, has left fans and artists frustrated for years with hidden fees, rising costs, and limited ticket availability due to pre-sales.
Ms Klobuchar wrote to the company boss last week and suggested that Ticketmaster and sister company LiveNation – which promotes events and manages venues – were abusing their position and being isolated from typical competition from other industries.
She and Utah Sen. Mike Lee upped the ante on Tuesday by announcing plans for a special hearing.
“When there’s no competition to drive better service and fair prices, we all pay the price,” said Klobuchar, who leads the Senate subcommittee on competition and consumer rights.
“American consumers deserve the competitive edge in every market, from supermarket chains to concert halls,” Lee added.
The hearing date and witnesses are yet to be confirmed.