US Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee will lead a new subcommittee to investigate the lack of competition in ticketing markets. Klobuchar pointed to the need to examine Ticketmaster’s dominance in the concert ticket market in light of the chaotic sales of the Taylor Swift Eras tour last week. “Ticketmaster’s website has let down hundreds of thousands of fans hoping to buy concert tickets,” Klobuchar said. “The high fees, site disruptions and cancellations customers have experienced show how Ticketmaster’s dominant position in the market means the company is under no pressure to innovate and continually improve.”
Ticketmaster blamed unprecedented demand and a “staggering number of bot attacks” for the Eras Tour fiasco, ultimately canceling a planned on-sale date for the remaining tickets. The company apologized to Swift, who wrote a pointed statement that said, in part, “It is truly difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to simply watch errors occur without recourse.” She added: “I’m not going to excuse anyone because we’ve asked them several times if they can handle this type of request and we’ve been assured they can.”
Two days after the initial debacle, Klobuchar took up the cause in a letter linking Ticketmaster’s “dramatic service failures” to its “power in the primary ticket market.” Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, chairs the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights, of which Lee, a Republican from Utah, is a ranking member. The hearing date has not yet been set.