Ticketmaster Live Updates: Senate Holds Hearing After Taylor Swift Debacle

Concert company Live Nation is facing a Senate Judiciary Committee investigation into the state of competition in the ticketing industry, where its Ticketmaster subsidiary is based, but has come under fire since then. hit Tickets for Taylor Swift’s latest tour are on sale.

The group is focused on whether Ticketmaster is so dominant in the market that it doesn’t need to spend money on technological innovations that can handle the surge in demand for Swift tickets, which the company denies. In November, the sale had widespread problems and angered millions of fans.

Harsh scrutiny, including from Washington, is nothing new for Ticketmaster, which in 2010 merged with Live Nation, the world’s largest concert company, to create a behemoth without equal in the multibillion-dollar live music business. The company hosted more than 40,000 events worldwide and sold 485 million tickets in 2019, the last year it released data unaffected by the pandemic. It owns or controls more than 300 venues and hosts major festivals such as Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Governors Ball.

The hearing, titled “That’s the Ticket: Promoting Competition and Protecting Consumers in Live Entertainment,” was called by Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota. Last year, before that Ms. Swift’s ticket sales – and before other Ticketmaster related issues Bad Bunny concert in Mexico City Fans with valid tickets returned — Ms. Klobuchar, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat, emphasized Justice Department to investigate anti-competitive conduct by Live Nation and Ticketmaster. They also complained about problems like high fees.

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Live Nation operates under an agreement called a consent decree, which was required by the Department of Justice to approve the merger of the companies. In 2020, the dept He extended it Less than five years later, the company is reportedly being investigated again for violating that agreement, which sets out rules for how Live Nation and Ticketmaster can conduct themselves in the marketplace.

Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said at the hearing that the consent decree “does not appear to be effective.”

Witnesses at today’s hearing include a top Live Nation executive and some of its competitors in ticketing and concert promotion; experts on antitrust and market competition; And a performing artist:

  • Joe Berchtold, President and Chief Financial Officer, Live Nation Entertainment

  • Jack Grotzinger, CEO, SeatGeek

  • Jerry Mickelson, CEO, Jam Productions

  • Kathleen Broadish, Vice President for Legal Advocacy, American Antitrust Institute

  • Sal Nuzzo, Senior Vice President, James Madison Company

  • Clyde Lawrence, Artist, Lawrence

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