Ticketmaster previously said there had been “historically unprecedented demand” as “millions” of Swift fans tried to secure tickets to ‘The Eras Tour’

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – AUGUST 26: Taylor Swift attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for MTV)

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti has launched an investigation into Ticketmaster after multiple Taylor Swift fans reported issues with ticket purchases for the star’s 2023 Eras Tour.

Swift, who released her tenth studio album ‘Midnights’ last month, announced the series of North American stadium concerts on Nov. 1. Soon after, he confirmed eight more dates before adding 17 more concerts last week.

A pre-sale then aired this Tuesday (November 15), with fans subsequently complaining on social media about long wait times and website outages. The Guardian also reported that tickets were quickly relisted on sites like StubHub for up to $22,700 (£19,100) each. Addressing the technical issues, Ticketmaster said “the site isn’t down” and said “people are actively buying tickets.”

However, a
 message about the company’s customer service on Twitter said: “We understand that fans may experience intermittent problems with the site and are working urgently to resolve them.”

Ticketmaster later issued
 another update in which the company said there had been “historically unprecedented demand” as “millions” of Swift fans sought to secure tickets to “The Eras Tour.”

The presale of some dates of the season has been postponed. Tickets go on sale to the general public tomorrow Friday (November 18). Last night (Nov. 17), Skrmetti said during a press conference that he was concerned about the reported issues, but added that there are currently no allegations to make (via The Hill).

“We have received a number of complaints and there has been significant press coverage that the ticketing process has not gone smoothly,” the attorney general explained. “It is my job to ensure that consumer protection laws and antitrust laws are respected in Tennessee.”

Skrmetti said he was launching the antitrust investigation because Swift’s home state of Tennessee is a big music market.

Additionally, he acknowledged that Live Nation Entertainment dominates approximately 70% of the live music industry and how that affects paying customers (LiveNation merged with Ticketmaster in 2010).

“Anytime you have this kind of market share concentration, there is a risk that the lack of competition will not only raise prices for consumers,” Skrmetti said, “but also reduce product quality.”

Elsewhere, Congressman David Cicilline, who oversees the House Antitrust and Competition Committee, tweeted, “Ticketmaster’s excessive wait times and fees are completely unacceptable as seen with today’s tickets [Taylor Swift], and they are a symptom of a larger problem.

 no secret that Live Nation-Ticketmaster is an uncontrolled monopoly.”

Cicilline added, “The merger of these companies should never have been allowed in the first place, which is why I’m joining @FrankPallone, @RepJerryNadler, and @BillPascrell in calling on the Justice Department to investigate Live Nation’s efforts to raise prices and stifle competition. “

New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez added, “I am reminded daily that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, their merger with LiveNation should never have been approved and they need to be reined in. Divide them.”

Ilhan Omar, the U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district, tweeted, “Separate Ticketmaster.” You can see that post and a variety of other reactions above. Last month, US President Joe Biden said his administration would investigate ticket rates for live music events (via BBC News).

Ticketmaster is already subject to government monitoring, a measure that was put in place when the purchase of LiveNation was approved. In January, Live Nation and Ticketmaster were sued for allegedly violating antitrust laws, with the plaintiffs alleging the companies had engaged in “predatory” behavior to corner the concert ticket market.

 Eras Tour” will mark Swift’s first series of live shows since 2018. It will kick off in March next year in Arizona and conclude with a series of dates in Los Angeles in early August. Throughout the run, the star will be joined by alternate guests including Paramore, Beabadoobee, Phoebe Bridgers, Girl In Red, MUNA and Haim. Taylor Swift recently confirmed that a UK tour in support of ‘Midnights’ will be announced soon. Fans who pre-ordered the album will be able to access an exclusive presale of tickets when it goes on sale.


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