March 28, 2023

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Congress wants to question the CEO of Live Nation about the Taylor Swift Ticketmaster fiasco

Congress wants to question the CEO of Live Nation about the Taylor Swift Ticketmaster fiasco

New York
CNN Business

Congress wants answers from the CEO of Ticketmaster’s parent company after a ticket-selling issue ahead of Taylor Swift’s Eras tour left millions of unhappy Swifties without the ability to see the singer-songwriter.

in message Addressed to Live Nation CEO Michael Rapinoe Tuesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked for a briefing on what went wrong and the steps the company is taking to fix the issues. Committee members want to meet with Rapinoe by December 15th.

“The recent pre-sale ticketing process for Taylor Swift’s upcoming IRAs tour — during which millions of fans have suffered delays, closures and competition with aggressive scammers, scalpers and bots — raises concerns about unfair and deceptive practices facing consumers and event-goers,” the commission wrote in its letter.

The committee noted that it had previously raised concerns about business practices in the industry and said it wanted to meet with Rapino to discuss how the company handles tickets for concerts and major tours. It also wants answers about how Ticketmaster plans to improve in the future.

Swift’s Eras Tour kicks off on March 17 and will take place 52 concerts at multiple venues across the US over the course of five months. overwhelming demand The ticket sales website went viral last month, angering countless fans. Customers complained on social media that Ticketmaster would not load, saying that the platform did not allow them to access tickets, even if they had a pre-sale code for verified fans. Ticketmaster eventually canceled ticket sales to the general public.

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Ticket Master I apologize To Swift and her fans who couldn’t secure tickets and… He blamed it on the disaster They are based on the “Verified Fans” system, a mechanism intended to eliminate bots that give out pre-sale codes to individuals. Ticketmaster said last month that the system can’t keep up with the overwhelming demand. Nearly 3.5 million people signed up to buy Swift tickets, marking her “largest enrollment in history”. Ticketmaster said that this unprecedented demand, combined with a “staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn’t have invite codes” drove “unprecedented traffic” to its site, essentially breaking it.

But the House committee said the company’s explanation was insufficient.

“This statement raises questions about your bot management solution and its ability to adequately protect consumers,” the commission wrote.

The commission noted that the 2016 BOTS Act allows the FTC to impose “severe” fines on Ticketmaster if it “knowingly sells tickets that were improperly purchased” by bots.

In its letter to Rapino, the commission also said it wanted information about the fees Ticketmaster charges customers. You also asked to know more about dynamic pricing. Ticket availability limits, transportation restrictions, and the company’s efforts to thwart bots and scammers.

Ticketmaster did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Justice Department has launched an antitrust investigation with Live Nation, owner of Ticketmaster, to look into whether the company has a monopoly on the concert market, including ticket purchases, a source familiar with the matter told CNN last month. Last week, more than two dozen Taylor Swift fans She sued Live Nation for “illegal conduct” in selling the pop star’s chaotic tour, alleging that the ticketing giant violated antitrust laws, among other things.

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Rapino and Live Nation have outraged Congress before. Senator Amy Klobuchar Criticize Ticketmaster wrote in an open letter to Rapino in the days following the ticket snafu, saying it had “serious concerns” about the company’s operations. The chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights writes that complaints by Swift fans unable to purchase tickets for her upcoming tour, as well as criticism of high fees, indicate that the company “continues to abuse its market positions.”