The Taylor Swift and Ticketmaster fiasco reached lawmakers’ attention and asked for answers from Live Nation’s CEO.
The Committee on Energy and Commerce sent a letter to Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino. They asked for Live Nation’s stance on the matter.
The lawmakers explained that they wanted to ensure that people would have better live shows in the future. In the letter, the Committee asked Rapino what they would do to fix the issue with Swift’s Eras tour. Live Nation serves as the parent company of Ticketmaster.
“The Energy and Commerce Committee has previously raised concerns about business practices in the live ticketing industry. The recent pre-sale ticketing process for Taylor Swift’s upcoming Eras tour. Millions of fans endured delays, lockouts, and competition with aggressive scammers, scalpers, and bots— raises concerns over the potential unfair and deceptive practices that face consumers and eventgoers,” the letter said.
“As such, we request a briefing regarding your processes for ticketing for the Eras tour and other recent major tours with similar issues. Additionally, we request that you provide a list of actions your company has taken to ensure that all consumers can better access live entertainment,” it added.
Ticketmaster and its problem
Ticketmaster sold tickets ahead of the general public sales. To qualify for the preselling of the Eras tour tickets, one needs to be a verified Taylor Swift fan.
According to Ticketmaster, they opened this to provide a better way for actual fans to acquire the tickets. They grew wary that some resellers would take advantage of the situation. However, when the preselling bega, many bots flocked to their site, causing crashes.
“This statement raises questions over your bot management solution and its ability to protect consumers adequately. As you are no doubt aware, our Committee has already enacted legislation to address anticonsumer practices in this space with the Better Online Ticket Sales Act (BOTS Act) of 2016,” said the Committee.
“This provided the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) first-offense civil penalty authority. With that authority, the FTC can fine a person or entity with steep civil penalties if they improperly used an automated process to purchase tickets or knowingly sold tickets that were improperly purchased using such an automated process,” it added.
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Taylor criticized Ticketmaster for how they handled the ticket sales of her tour. For instance, the Eras tour tickets start at $49 to $450. Then, a VIP package will start at $199 to $899. However, resellers sold the tickets from $800 to as much as $20,000.
“Well. It goes without saying that I’m extremely protective of my fans. We’ve been doing this for decades together, and over the years, I’ve brought so many elements of my career in-house. But, I’ve done this specifically to improve the quality of my fans’ experience by doing it myself with my team who care as much about my fans as I do,” Swift wrote.
“It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me just to watch mistakes happen with no recourse. It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them,” Swift added.