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Senators Announce Hearings On Competition In The Ticketing Market

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WASHINGTON D.C. (CelebrityAccess) — U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Mike Lee (R-UT), Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, announced plans to hold congressional hearings to examine the alleged lack of competition in the event ticketing industry.

The news follows Ticketmaster’s high-profile stumble on ticket presales for Taylor Swift’s upcoming ‘Eras’ tour during which fans faced long delays, glitches, and in many cases, a lack of tickets only to find passes for the tour cropping up on secondary market sites for inflated prices.

The announcement of plans for hearings also follows a formal request from Klobuchar to Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino for clarification on a number of issues, including details about the company’s efforts to comply with the 2011 consent decree that paved the way for Live Nation’s merger with Ticketmaster.

Live Nation and their Ticketmaster subsidiary cited extremely high demand for tickets during the presale, prompting them to cancel plans for a general onsale, citing a lack of ticket inventory.

“Last week, the competition problem in ticketing markets was made painfully obvious when Ticketmaster’s website failed hundreds of thousands of fans hoping to purchase concert tickets. The high fees, site disruptions and cancellations that customers experienced shows how Ticketmaster’s dominant market position means the company does not face any pressure to continually innovate and improve,” said Klobuchar. “That’s why we will hold a hearing on how consolidation in the live entertainment and ticketing industry harms customers and artists alike. When there is no competition to incentivize better services and fair prices, we all suffer the consequences.”

“American consumers deserve the benefit of competition in every market, from grocery chains to concert venues,” said Lee. “I look forward to exercising our Subcommittee’s oversight authority to ensure that anticompetitive mergers and exclusionary conduct are not crippling an entertainment industry already struggling to recover from pandemic lockdowns.”

Details about the planned hearings, including the hearing date and witnesses will be announced in the coming weeks.

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