Taylor Swift Ticket Troubles Due to Ticketmaster Abusing Market Power, Senate Antitrust Chairman Says. CNN Business

NEW YORK CNN Business — Senator Amy Klobuchar angered fans of Taylor Swift when she denounced Ticketmaster in an open letter to the CEO, saying she had “serious concerns” about the company’s operations following the service’s collapse on Tuesday. In a letter to CEO Michael Rapinoe, Minnesota Democrat and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights, Swift fans complained about not being able to buy tickets for her upcoming tour. fee, suggesting that the company “continues to abuse its market position.” “Ticketmaster’s strength in the primary ticket market protects the company from competitive pressures that typically force companies to innovate and improve their services. This could lead to the type of dramatic service failures we saw this week. Consumers pay the price here,” wrote Klobuchar. Ticketmaster and Live Nation, the country’s largest concert promoter, merged about 10 years ago. Klobuchar noted at the time that she had promised the company to “develop an easily accessible one-stop platform” for ticket delivery. On Thursday, the Senator told Rapino, “I think your confidence is misplaced.” “When Ticketmaster merged with Live Nation in 2010, it was subject to antitrust statutes prohibiting abuse of its market position,” Klobuchar wrote. She said, “Nevertheless, there have been numerous complaints about your company’s compliance with that statute.” The letter contains a list of questions Rapino must answer by next week. Ticketmaster did not immediately respond to CNN Business’ request for comment. On Tuesday, the company thanked her fans for their “patience”, saying “there has been historically unprecedented demand” with “millions showing up” to purchase tickets for Swift’s tour. Klobuchar is the latest high-profile politician to openly criticize Ticketmaster for its ticketing scourge that has left bad blood between Swift fans and the company. “@Ticketmaster’s excessive wait times and fees, as seen with today’s @taylorswift13 tickets, are completely unacceptable and a symptom of a larger problem. It’s no secret that Live Nation – Ticketmaster is an unverified exclusive.” David Cicilline, now chair of the Antitrust Subcommittee, tweeted on Tuesday. “I am reminded daily that Ticketmaster is an exclusive and that our merger with LiveNation should never have been approved and that we must be queens.” Complaints about the monopoly power of the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez company date back long before Tuesday’s ticket troubles, when platforms seemed to crash or freeze during pre-sale purchases for Swift’s latest tour. In 1994, when Taylor Swift was only 4 years old and the queue to buy tickets was in person or over the phone rather than online, the rock group Pearl Jam filed a complaint with the Department of Justice’s antitrust division, claiming that Ticketmaster “has a de facto absolute monopoly.” I did. Distribution of concert tickets.” I was trying to book a tour only at places that don’t use Ticketmaster. The Department of Justice and many state attorney generals have filed similar complaints over the years. Despite these concerns, Ticketmaster continued to grow more dominantly. Pearl Jam’s complaint was quietly dismissed. The Department of Justice and state governments allowed the Live Nation Ticketmaster merger to proceed despite a court case in 2010 against the merger. The Ministry of Justice said in its complaint that Ticketmaster’s share of major venues exceeded 80%. – Chris Isidore of CNN Business contributed to this report.

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