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Tennessee AG investigating Ticketmaster after Taylor Swift ticket chaos

Ticketmaster can’t seem to shake it off.

The ticket sales company is facing scrutiny after Taylor Swift fans were met with website outages and hours-long waits on Tuesday while trying to buy tickets for her upcoming “Eras” tour.

The criticism hit a boiling point when Tenessee’s Attorney General said he will investigate the company after his office was flooded with complaints from irate Swifties, many unable to secure tickets due to the website’s meltdown.

“Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti is concerned about consumer complaints related to @Ticketmaster’s pre-sale of @taylorswift13 concert tickets. He and his Consumer Protection team will use every available tool to ensure that no consumer protection laws were violated,” the AG’s Office said in a tweet.

Tennessee AG
The Tennessee Attorney General’s Office received a substantial amount of complaints over Ticketmaster’s handling of the Taylor Swift tour tickets.
Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti
Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti is looking into whether Ticketmaster broke any consumer protection laws.
Tennessee Attorney General

Democratic US Senator Amy Klobuchar on Thursday wrote an open letter to Ticketmaster’s CEO Michael Rapino to express “serious concerns about the state of competition in the ticketing industry and its harmful impact on consumers.”

“That can result in the types of dramatic service failures we saw this week, where consumers are the ones that pay the price.”

Klobuchar recalled the Senate hearing about the merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation in 2010, noting she has been skeptical of the combination of the two companies since.

“Ticketmaster’s power in the primary ticket market insulates it from the competitive pressures that typically push companies to innovate and improve their services,” said Klobuchar, who heads the Senate subcommittee on antitrust issues.

Taylor Swift "Eras" tour poster
Taylor Swift’s “Eras” tour is her first stadium tour since before the Covid pandemic.
Ticketmaster
Ticketmaster error code
Fans were left devastated after Ticketmaster’s website continued to crash while they were trying to partake in Tuesday’s pre-sale for tickets.
Twitter / @afullerday

“At that hearing, you appeared as a witness and pledged to ‘develop an easy-access, one-stop platform that can deliver … tickets.’ And you said that you were ‘confident this plan will work,’” Klobuchar wrote. “It appears that your confidence was misplaced.”

“When Ticketmaster merged with Live Nation in 2010, it was subject to an antitrust consent decree that prohibited it from abusing its market position,” Klobuchar wrote. “Nonetheless, there have been numerous complaints about your company’s compliance with that decree.”

In her letter, Klobuchar asked a series of questions, including how much has been invested in upgrading Ticketmaster’s systems to address demand surges and what percentage of high-profile tour tickets are made available to the general public.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift’s stadium tour “Eras” will begin next year.
FilmMagic

Klobuchar asked in the letter for Rapino to answer her questions by next week.

Other politicians have also chimed in on the ticketing chaos, including New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who tweeted: “Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, its merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reined in.”

Ticketmaster
Ticketmaster thanked Taylor Swift fans for their patience.

Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, the chairman of the Antitrust subcommittee, also shared concerns about the company.

“@Ticketmaster’s excessive wait times and fees are completely unacceptable, as seen with today’s @taylorswift13 tickets, and are a symptom of a larger problem. It’s no secret that Live Nation-Ticketmaster is an unchecked monopoly,” Cicilline wrote.

In response to the incredible amount of backlash received on Tuesday, Ticketmaster said “there has been historically unprecedented demand with millions showing up” to buy tickets for Swift’s tour and thanked fans for their “patience” as they handled the massive demand.

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