The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on January 24th to examine the lack of competition in the ticketing industry. The hearing, which will be titled “That’s The Ticket: Promoting Competition and Protecting Consumers in Live Entertainment,” was announced by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Mike Lee (R-UT), chairwoman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights.
The hearing comes after reports of significant service failures and delays on Ticketmaster’s website in November, which left fans unable to purchase concert tickets for Taylor Swift’s new tour. In 2010, events promoter and venue operator Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged, creating Live Nation Entertainment, a global entertainment company and monopoly.
The company has faced allegations that it engages in anti-competitive practices, poor handling of the ticket sale process for popular events, and injuries and deaths that have occurred at their events. The latest controversy occurred when Ticketmaster’s website crashed after scores of Taylor Swift fans rushed to buy tickets for the singer’s The Eras Tour.
Another controversy plaguing Live Nation is the crowd crushing incident that occurred at Astroworld Festival on November 5, 2021 in Houston, resulting in 5,000 injuries and the deaths of ten concertgoers. Live Nation, Travis Scott, and other parties involved in the concert event have been named in over 387 lawsuits related to the incident, which in January 2022 were combined down into a single case.
“The issues within America’s ticketing industry were made painfully obvious when Ticketmaster’s website failed hundreds of thousands of fans hoping to purchase tickets for Taylor Swift’s new tour, but these problems are not new. For too long, consumers have faced high fees, long waits, and website failures, and Ticketmaster’s dominant market position means the company faces inadequate pressure to innovate and improve,” said Sen. Klobuchar in a press release.
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