WASHINGTON D.C. (CelebrityAccess) — A U.S. Senate committee has set January 24th as a hearing date for their inquiry into competition in the ticketing industry in the wake of Ticketmaster’s turmoil during the Taylor Swift Eras tour ticket presale last year.
The hearing, which has been titled “That’s the Ticket: Promoting Competition and Protecting Consumers in Live Entertainment” will take place in front of the full Senate Judiciary Committee, which is currently chaired by Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is the ranking republican member on the committee.
As of yet, the committee has not revealed a list of witnesses for the hearing, but Live Nation’s Michael Rapino was previously called upon to answer a series of questions from legislators related to competition and business practices in the ticketing marketplace.
The congressional inquiry follows the ticket presale for Taylor Swift’s Eras tour in November. Extremely high demand appeared to strain Ticketmaster’s system, leaving fans frustrated with technical glitches and in many cases, unable to obtain tickets, only to see tickets immediately appear on secondary market resale platforms at inflated prices.
“I write to express serious concerns about the state of competition in the ticketing industry and its harmful impact on consumers. Reports about system failures, increasing fees, and complaints of conduct that violate the consent decree Ticketmaster is under suggest that Ticketmaster continues to abuse its market positions,” Senator Amy Klobuchar wrote to Live Nation’s Michael Rapino in November.
“Ticketmaster’s power in the primary ticket market insulates it from the competitive pressures that typically push companies to innovate and improve their services. That can result in the types of dramatic service failures we saw this week, where consumers are the ones that pay the price,” she added.