The DOJ Has Reportedly Opened an Antitrust Investigation into Ticketmaster’s Owner

At the moment, everything is a disaster for Ticketmaster. They bungled the sale of Taylor Swift’s The Era Tour tickets so badly that they ended up canceling the general sale of them altogether. Swift is really unhappy with the situation, as she wrote today, “I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them, multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could. 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.”

via: The Verge

The Department of Justice is investigating Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation Entertainment over antitrust concerns, The New York Times reported Friday. Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged in 2010 but have come under scrutiny for largely dominating the live event ticket sales market. Ticketmaster has received renewed attention after it dropped the ball with Taylor Swift ticket sales this week.

The DOJ has reached out to venues and “players in the ticket market” in recent months to ask about the company’s practices, according to the NYT, meaning the probe predates this week’s debacle. DOJ spokesperson Arlen Morales declined to comment. Live Nation didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Many government officials have Live Nation and Ticketmaster in their sights as well. The attorneys general of North Carolina and Tennessee are each investigating Ticketmaster. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), the chair of the Senate subcommittee on competition policy, antitrust, and consumer rights, wrote a letter to Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino (pdf) on Wednesday expressing “serious concerns” about competition in the ticketing industry. And Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted Tuesday that “Ticketmaster is a monopoly” and called for it and Live Nation to be broken up.

Swift issued a statement about the ticket situation on Friday, and she didn’t mince words. On Thursday, Ticketmaster posted an explanation for why it crashed during the presale, but the explanation is now gone.

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