A United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee convened a listening to about Ticketmaster on Tuesday (January 24), prompted by the corporate’s cascading failures with the sale of tickets for Taylor Swift’s upcoming Eras Tour. In the course of the listening to, led by Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee, the panel heard testimony and requested questions on ticket gross sales, monopolization, resale markets, and Ticketmaster’s impression on the reside music trade. Discover footage of the livestreamed listening to and full testimonies right here.
Klobuchar, who spoke about her personal music fandom and advocated for $15 billion in pandemic support to impartial leisure venues, emphasised the bipartisan nature of the listening to. Senators Josh Hawley, Marsha Blackburn, Dick Durbin, Lindsey Graham, and others joined her and Lee in asking questions on Ticketmaster’s operations. Klobuchar, Lee, and different individuals sometimes quoted Taylor Swift lyrics all through the proceedings. Testimony included enter from singer-songwriter Clyde Lawrence, and Jack Groetzinger, CEO of SeatGeek, who defined the quite a few logistical challenges that ticketing platforms face.
Joe Berchtold, president and CFO of Dwell Nation Leisure additionally spoke at Tuesday’s listening to. The corporate merged with Ticketmaster in 2010, vertically integrating its venues with the Ticketmaster platform. He apologized to Swift on behalf of Ticketmaster, claiming that bots have been in charge for the problems that resulted within the cancellation of the Eras Tour pre-sale date in November. “We apologize to the followers. We apologize to Ms. Swift. We have to do higher and we’ll do higher,” he mentioned. Berchtold additional addressed the corporate’s ticket charges, a constant gripe for followers, saying that venues, not Ticketmaster, set the extra costs.
Klobuchar defined that the listening to was supposed to lift public consciousness, uncover data for the Justice Division, and to encourage Republicans and Democrats to contemplate legislative choices for curbing the agency’s monopoly. “The options are there for the taking,” she mentioned because the listening to drew to an in depth.
Ticketmaster is dealing with two lawsuits from Taylor Swift followers who’re accusing the corporate of fraud, misrepresentation, and extra. The corporate has come underneath hearth for its practices for practically 30 years: In 1995, Pearl Jam led a marketing campaign to divest from the corporate attributable to its grip on the reside music market. Along with the Swift fallout, the corporate was closely criticized (and later apologized) for canceling a number of hundred authentic tickets at Unhealthy Bunny’s sold-out live performance in Mexico Metropolis.
The Justice Division has additionally opened an anti-trust investigation into doubtlessly iniquitous habits by Dwell Nation Leisure; the investigation was reportedly opened earlier than tickets to the Eras tour went on sale.