Ticketmaster is facing increased scrutiny after Taylor Swift’s ticket mess

Ticketmaster is facing increased scrutiny, including from lawmakers and state authorities, over its selling practices after Taylor Swift fans protested the site’s outage and long wait to buy tickets for the singer’s upcoming “Eras” tour.

In a letter to Michael Rapinoe, the President and CEO of Live Nation Entertainment Inc. Ticketmaster’s parent, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, expressed “serious concerns about the state of competition in the ticketing industry and its harmful effect on consumers.”

“Ticketmaster’s strength in the core ticket market insulates it from the competitive pressures that typically drive companies to innovate and improve their services,” said Klobuchar, who chairs one of the Senate subcommittees on antitrust issues. “That could lead to the kinds of dramatic failures of service that we’ve seen this week, where it’s the consumers who pay the price.”

In the letter, the lawmaker asked Rapinoe to answer a series of questions, including how much the company has spent upgrading technology to handle increases in demand and what percentage of tickets for high-profile tours are being booked for advance sales. Ticketmaster and Live Nation did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.

Tennessee’s attorney general said separately it was launching an investigation into Ticketmaster after his office was inundated with complaints about the ticket company’s website crashing Tuesday where Swift fans, known as “Swifties,” raced to buy tickets for the “Eras” tour.

“Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti is concerned about consumer complaints related to Ticketmaster. He and his consumer protection team will use every tool available to ensure that no consumer protection laws are violated,” Skrmetti’s office said. tweet Wednesday.

Speaking at a news conference Wednesday, Scrimiti said he was launching an antitrust investigation into Ticketmaster after a pre-sale debacle led to widespread frustration, Nashville-based NBC affiliate WSMV reported.

Scarmiti said no direct allegations of misconduct have been made against Ticketmaster, but he said his job is to investigate consumer complaints.

“If it’s a consumer protection violation and we can pinpoint exactly where the problems are, we can get a court order that makes the company do better. This ensures that the problems that happened yesterday won’t happen again,” Scrimiti said, according to the WSMV. “If it’s not a consumer protection violation[a violation]but an antitrust violation, there are a wide range of options available.”

Skrmiti said his investigation will include determining what Ticketmaster promised customers and whether the company kept its promise.

The attorney general said he also had concerns about TicketMaster achieving twice the ticket sales, as the site also facilitates the resale of tickets.

According to WSMV, he said, “There is an incentive for the company to make twice the profit selling these tickets.” “I’m not saying it happened, but we’ll make absolutely sure it didn’t.” Scrimity’s office did not respond to a request early Thursday from NBC News for further comment.

in statement Posting on Twitter Tuesday, Ticketmaster said the pre-sale ticket disruption occurred after its website saw “historically unprecedented demand with millions showing up to buy TaylorSwiftTix Presale tickets.”

Swift’s 2023 US tour, which kicks off in March in Arizona and ends in August in Los Angeles, has 52 concert dates, with Swift recently adding 17 dates to the original tour announcement.

Rob Wile And the Morgan Song Contributed.

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