The Taylor Swift concert ticket scandal has attracted so much backlash that Congress is now holding a special hearing to address the Ticketmaster fallout.
On Tuesday, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee announced that the U.S. Senate antitrust panel would have a meeting to examine evidence and the lack of competition in the industry. Additionally, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster, to be split up. This comes after Taylor Swift fans underwent hours of waiting on November 15th to purchase tickets for her forthcoming tour. Many fans were met with errors and even charges for tickets they had never secured.
Ticketmaster was overwhelmed with demand for the tickets, which marked Swift’s first tour in five years. Presale codes were sent to 1.5 million people, but 14 million swarmed the site to purchase tickets. The company also reported a “staggering number” of bots that tried to make purchases. In some cases, consumers were able to get to the cart only to have their tickets disappear. Others did not get that far, having the site crash at the seat selection screen.
In a letter to Ticketmaster sent last week, Klobuchar expressed doubts about whether the corporation was doing everything possible to give customers the best experience when purchasing event tickets. Swift’s team also released a statement confirming that they were guaranteed Ticketmaster could handle the expected demand. According to Klobuchar, the incident showed Ticketmaster was unprepared, but since they control most of the event sales industry, there hasn’t been much retribution until now.
“The high fees, site disruptions, and cancellations that customers experienced shows how Ticketmaster’s dominant market position means the company does not face any pressure to continually innovate and improve,” Klobuchar stated.
The date and list of witnesses have not yet been announced for the hearing.