Ticketmaster Entertainment is an American ticket sales and distribution company with operations in many countries around the world. It was founded in Arizona in 1976.
Swifties – fans of singing sensation Taylor Swift – are to sue Ticketmaster because they suffered a host of technical errors and suspected fraud when trying to book pre-sale tickets.
Ticketmaster has provided two main presale opportunities for tickets to Swift’s Eras Tour: a Verified Fan Presale and a Capital One Cardholder Presale. Both presales came with a whole host of technical issues: rejected verified fan codes, a five-hour queue, and glitches. Tickets initially started at prices ranging from $49 to $449 each. The General Sale, which was an opportunity for those who did not participate in the presales, was canceled less than 24 hours in advance.
Taylor Swift tweeted that “there are a myriad of reasons why people have had such a hard time getting tickets and I’m trying to figure out how this situation can be improved in the future. I’m not going to give any d ‘apologies to anyone because we repeatedly asked them if they could handle this kind of request and we were assured they could’.
The Swifties say that Ticketmaster would collect additional fees when reselling each reseller, due to the company’s monopoly on the primary and secondary markets. Fans alleging fraud and price fixing are seeking a civil penalty of $2,500 per violation. They also accuse the company of failing to take action against resellers and resales, because at the time of the presale, some tickets are already on sale for up to $22,700.
According to US media, the Department of Justice has opened an antitrust investigation into the owner of Ticketmaster. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called Ticketmaster a “monopoly” and urged “breaking it up.” A US Senate antitrust panel will hold a hearing on the lack of competition in the ticketing industry.
“The high fees, site disruptions and cancellations customers have experienced show how Ticketmaster’s dominant position in the market means the company is under no pressure to innovate and continually improve,” said Amy. Klobuchar, Democratic Senator from Minnesota. “We will hold a hearing on how consolidation in the live entertainment and box office industry is hurting customers and performers.”