February 8, 2023

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Senate announces hearing date on Ticketmaster-Taylor Swift debacle

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U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Mn.) and Mike Lee (R-Ut.) — chairwoman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights — said a previously announced Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the lack of competition in the ticket industry Jan. 24 To be held on Tuesday at 10:00 am.

The hearing will be titled “It’s the Ticket: Promoting Competition and Protecting Consumers in Live Entertainment” and will be held before the full Senate Judiciary Committee, including Chair Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and incoming Ranking Member Lindsey Graham (R-SC). .

In a statement, Klobuchar said, “The problems in America’s ticket industry became painfully clear when Ticketmaster’s website failed to purchase tickets for Taylor Swift’s new tour by tens of thousands of fans, but these problems are not new. For too long, consumers have faced high fees, long waits, and website has faced failure, and Ticketmaster’s dominant market position means the company faces insufficient pressure to innovate and improve. At next week’s hearing, we’ll examine how consolidation in the live entertainment and ticketing industries hurts consumers and artists alike. Competition to encourage good service and fair prices Without it, we all suffer the consequences.”

Klobuchar, who has been particularly outspoken in his criticism of the ticketing giant since the Swift Ticketing debacle in October, spoke to diversity At length about the problem last month. “As they’ve said publicly, they should have done better at selling Taylor Swift tickets. We know this, but we believe it is not enough. I believe we need to get to the bottom of the problems in the ticketing industry,” he said. “What happens with monopolies is that people who are hurt by them are also afraid of them. They don’t want to come forward because they think they will be confused.”

“American consumers deserve the benefit of competition in every market, from grocery chains to concert venues,” Lee said. “I look forward to exercising our subcommittee’s oversight authority to ensure that anticompetitive mergers and exclusionary conduct do not cripple an entertainment industry already struggling to recover from pandemic lockdowns.”

“It’s been more than a decade since Ticketmaster merged with Live Nation, and competition in the ticketing and live entertainment industry has gotten worse. Often, consumers are the ones paying the price for these market failures,” Durbin said. “I look forward to the hearings that have led to this environment, as well as the steps we can take to restore competition in these industries in a way that puts fans and artists first.”

“I’m glad the committee will look into the Ticketmaster debacle,” Graham said. “I look forward to hearing more about how we got here and identifying solutions.”

The hearing follows reports of significant service failures and delays on Ticketmaster’s website in November with fans unable to purchase concert tickets for Taylor Swift’s new tour.

In November, Klobuchar wrote a letter to Ticketmaster expressing concern about the lack of competition in the ticketing industry and questioning whether the company was taking the necessary steps to best serve customers.

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