Taylor Swift and Ticketmaster

Image+via+Fox+News

Hannah Siraj, Staff Writer

Taylor Swift fans are fed up over Ticketmaster’s unorganized rollout of presale tickets to her newly announced tour, Eras. The controversy has encouraged lawmakers to rethink the merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation. Now the question many people are asking themselves is: does Ticketmaster have too much control over the live entertainment industry?  

The presale ticket sale for Taylor Swift’s tour opened on November 15th. However, ticket buyers almost immediately began experiencing problems on the site. There were approximately 14 million people trying to reserve seats while the tickets were going live. This meant that the website was overloaded with people trying to buy tickets, causing the website to glitch, and many fans lost the tickets they reserved and paid for. 

After the dramatic fallout of the presale, Ticketmaster announced they were going to cancel the tour’s general sale because of the “high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand.” 

At least 2 dozen Swifties who lost their tickets in the chaos have sued Ticketmaster for fraud and violating antitrust laws. Lawmakers have also called out Ticketmaster, saying that since it is one of the only ticket selling businesses in the live entertainment industry, it is a monopoly that needs to be controlled. 

All of the backlash circles back to the merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation in 2009. Ticketmaster was the number one ticket selling website in the world at the time, and Live Nation was the biggest live show promoter in the world.

There was fear that if the two did merge, they would have too much control over the live entertainment industry, and would violate antitrust laws. Ultimately, the Department of Justice (DOJ) decided that the merger could happen, but Live Nation could not force any of their venues to sell tickets through Ticketmaster. 

In 2019, the DOJ claimed that Live Nation had violated this settlement, and were preparing to take legal action. But since Live Nation had never admitted to these illegal actions, the DOJ reached a new settlement and nothing really came of it.

However, lawmakers are urging the DOJ to reopen this case and break the merger between the two companies, all in hope to stop the monopoly they believe has been created. 

In reality, 66 percent of all tickets sold at venues are sold through Ticketmaster,according to Bloomberg. So, even if lawmakers try breaking the merger, Ticketmaster will most likely be the leading business in the ticket industry.

As for the Swifties that were not able to get their hands on tickets, they are still scavenging other ticket selling websites as well as resale websites, all in the hopes of securing a seat at the world renowned artist’s concert.