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Senate to Hold Hearing On Ticketing Amid Live Nation Criticism

Senate to Hold Hearing On Ticketing Amid Live Nation Criticism

Final week, amid a large number of fan complaints, Dwell Nation’s Ticketmaster confronted criticism and regulatory scrutiny from lawmakers. Now, a Senate investigation into “the shortage of competitors within the ticketing trade” has formally been introduced.

The newest spherical of pushback in opposition to Ticketmaster and Dwell Nation stemmed from the shortcoming of many Taylor Swift diehards to safe passes to the forthcoming Eras Tour. After the much-anticipated tour’s pre-sale crashed, Ticketmaster opted to cancel the general public on-sale altogether, and each Dwell Nation chairman Greg Maffei and Swift herself addressed the matter.

Moreover, Ticketmaster’s enterprise mannequin had been the topic of public criticism (from artists, followers, activists, and completely different lawmakers than these talked about above) in 2022 even earlier than the Taylor Swift ticketing fiasco.

On this entrance, it additionally got here to mild final week that the Division of Justice had reportedly launched an antitrust investigation into Dwell Nation and Ticketmaster (which merged in 2010) earlier within the yr. Dwell Nation proceeded to problem a associated assertion the day after the story broke.

Taking into consideration the multifaceted background particulars related to the current criticism of Dwell Nation – which reported its “highest quarterly attendance ever” throughout Q3 2022 – a U.S. senator six days in the past referred to as on the enterprise’s president and CEO, Michael Rapino, to reply a collection of questions regarding his firm’s antitrust decree, ticket availability, and extra.

This similar lawmaker, Senator Amy Klobuchar, has now joined Senator Mike Lee in collectively saying the initially talked about “listening to to look at the shortage of competitors within the ticketing trade.” Although the timetable at hand is unclear (the “date and witnesses will probably be introduced at a later date”), the senators’ formal launch on the topic particularly mentions “vital service failures and delays on Ticketmaster’s web site.”

Elaborating upon the character of the listening to in an announcement, Senator Klobuchar relayed partly: “Final week, the competitors drawback in ticketing markets was made painfully apparent when Ticketmaster’s web site failed a whole lot of hundreds of followers hoping to buy live performance tickets. The excessive charges, web site disruptions and cancellations that prospects skilled reveals how Ticketmaster’s dominant market place means the corporate doesn’t face any strain to repeatedly innovate and enhance.”

And in an announcement of his personal, Senator Lee highlighted the broader benefits of competitors for the leisure trade following the devastating affect of COVID-19 lockdown measures and large-gathering bans.

“American customers deserve the advantage of competitors in each market, from grocery chains to live performance venues,” the senator mentioned. “I sit up for exercising our Subcommittee’s oversight authority to make sure that anticompetitive mergers and exclusionary conduct will not be crippling an leisure trade already struggling to recuperate from pandemic lockdowns.”

However the continuing outrage and continued requires the separation of Dwell Nation and Ticketmaster, it’s unclear whether or not the entities may have prevented the Eras Tour fallout altogether, as demand merely appears to have far outstripped the provision of passes.

However it’s doable that the overarching inspection of Dwell Nation’s operations may carry unflattering (and wholly controllable) elements of the enterprise’s practices, together with the exorbitant pricing of “platinum” passes and the reportedly shameful response to the Astroworld tragedy, again into the highlight.