Following a frustrating Ticketmaster pre-sale for Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour,” Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have announced that a congressional antitrust panel will hold hearings on a lack of competition in the live music and ticketing industries, Variety reports. Klobuchar had previously called for hearings last week. Dates and witnesses will be set at a future time.
Pre-sale for “The Eras Tour” began on November 15th, and demand almost immediately outstripped the capacity of Ticketmaster’s website. The ticket portal crashed for many users, while others experienced lengthy delays, and by November 17th, the company was forced to cancel general on-sale due to “extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand.” Swift responded, saying that the experience “really pisses me off.”
Ticketmaster and Live Nation merged in 2010, and combined are estimated to control about 70% of the market. The company was reportedly facing a Justice Department investigation even before Swift’s tour pre-sale, and since then Tennessee’s Attorney General has also announced an antitrust investigation.
In a previous statement, Live Nation and Ticketmaster wrote, “As we have stated many times in the past, Live Nation takes its responsibilities under the antitrust laws seriously and does not engage in behaviors that could justify antitrust litigation, let alone orders that would require it to alter fundamental business practices.”