trouble trouble trouble
Should Ticketmaster and Live Nation never, ever have gotten together?
The Department of Justice appears to be considering that question, as an antitrust investigation into Live Nation Entertainment, the owner of Ticketmaster, is underway, according to The New York Times.
Ticketmaster has been facing growing scrutiny this week over a presale event for Taylor Swift's new tour, during which glitches and error messages frustrated fans and left many unable to purchase tickets. A planned sale of tickets for the general public on Friday was also canceled. Amid this chaos, some lawmakers have once again been scrutinizing Ticketmaster's merger with Live Nation, which the Justice Department approved in 2010. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) argued this merger created a monopoly. "They need to be reigned in," she tweeted. "Break them up."
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, also alleged that Ticketmaster "continues to abuse its market positions" and is insulated "from the competitive pressures that typically push companies to innovate and improve their services."
The new antitrust investigation of Ticketmaster is focusing on whether the company has abused its power in the music industry, the Times says, though according to the report, the probe predates the Swift presale situation.
Meanwhile, Swift on Friday addressed the presale debacle for the first time, condemning Ticketmaster without naming the company directly. "We asked them, multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could," she said on Instagram, writing that it's "excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse" and that it "really pisses me off" that fans who secured tickets "feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them."
Ticketmaster previously said a "staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn't have invite codes" were to blame for its website crashing — in a statement that appears to have since been removed from its website.