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Taylor Swift Ticketmaster outages lead to questions from officials

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Officials at the state and federal level have begun looking into the circumstances surrounding a pre-sale of Taylor Swift concert tickets on Ticketmaster earlier this week. Swift fans swarmed the website on Tuesday, reporting website outages and long waits to buy tickets.

Ticketmaster said Swift’s tour generated unprecedented demand, and the company worked quickly to fix problems. They added an additional pre-sale Wednesday, where ticket buyers reported a similar experience.

“There has been historically unprecedented demand with millions showing up to buy tickets for the TaylorSwiftTix Presale,” Ticketmaster said in a Tuesday tweet. “Hundreds of thousands of tickets have been sold… Thank you for your patience as we continue managing this huge demand.”

The Ticketmaster situation has led to antitrust concerns from state and federal officials. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), chair of a Senate subcommittee on antitrust issues, sent a letter to Live Nation Chief Executive Michael Rapino Thursday. She asked him a handful of questions, including how much the company had spent to upgrade technology to handle demand surges and what percentage of high-profile tour tickets were reserved for presales.

“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,” Klobuchar wrote in the letter about the Taylor Swift ticket situation. “Ticketmaster’s power in the primary ticket market insulates it from the competitive pressures that typically push companies to innovate and improve their services.”

Sen. Klobuchar’s letter came a day after Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said he is looking into the situation. Some of the shows on Swift’s tour are at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti is concerned about consumer complaints related to @Ticketmaster’s pre-sale of @taylorswift13 concert tickets,” Skrmetti’s office announced on Twitter Wednesday night. “He and his Consumer Protection team will use every available tool to ensure that no consumer protection laws were violated.”

Reuters and Axios contributed to this report.

TICKETMASTER IS UNDER INVESTIGATION.
STATE OFFICIALS ARE LOOKING INTO WHETHER THE WEBSITE HAS VIOLATED CONSUMER PROTECTION LAWS OR ANTI-TRUST LAWS…
[L3: TAYLOR SWIFT PRESALE EVENT FLOODS SITE]
AFTER A TAYLOR SWIFT CONCERT PRE-SALE EVENT CRASHED AMID CHAOS.
ON TUESDAY…ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST SUPERSTARS OPENED UP TICKET SALES FOR A TOUR FANS HAVE WAITED FIVE YEARS FOR.
BUT WITH DEMAND IN THE THOUSANDS…THE TICKETMASTER WEBSITE COULDN’T KEEP UP WITH THE ‘UNPRECEDENTED DEMAND.’
THE SITE CRASHED.
FANS WHO WAITED HOURS IN A QUEUE WERE BUMPED OUT IN GLITCHES.
ULTIMATELY LEAVING THOUSANDS OF FANS EMPTY-HANDED AND OUTRAGED.
THE DEBACLE IS RAISING THE EYEBROWS OF SENATORS AND ATTORNEY GENERALS.
QUESTIONING WHETHER TICKEMASTER FAILED TO PROVIDE WHAT THEY PROMISED CUSTOMERS.
AND WHETHER THE COMPANY HAS TOO MUCH CONTROL.
IT’S PARENT COMPANY LIVENATION REPORTEDLY OWNING 70 PERCENT OF THE MARKET SPACE FOR TICKET SALES.
PROMINENT DEMOCRATS HAVE SUGGESTED THE MERGER BETWEEN TICKETMASTER AND LIVENATION…COULD BE TOO BIG…AND LIMIT COMPETITION.
BREAKING ANTI-TRUST LAWS.
THAT MERGER TOOK PLACE MORE THAN A DECADE AGO.
AND WAS EVEN APPROVED BY THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT.
BUT THE TSUNAMI OF SWIFTIES…
HAS CRASHED DOWN ON TICKETMASTER.
THE SITE NOW LEFT WITH MANY QUESTIONS TO ANSWER.

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Bias Distribution

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C 68%
R 11%

68% of the sources are Center

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Officials at the state and federal level have begun looking into the circumstances surrounding a pre-sale of Taylor Swift concert tickets on Ticketmaster earlier this week. Swift fans swarmed the website on Tuesday, reporting website outages and long waits to buy tickets.

Ticketmaster said Swift’s tour generated unprecedented demand, and the company worked quickly to fix problems. They added an additional pre-sale Wednesday, where ticket buyers reported a similar experience.

“There has been historically unprecedented demand with millions showing up to buy tickets for the TaylorSwiftTix Presale,” Ticketmaster said in a Tuesday tweet. “Hundreds of thousands of tickets have been sold… Thank you for your patience as we continue managing this huge demand.”

The Ticketmaster situation has led to antitrust concerns from state and federal officials. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), chair of a Senate subcommittee on antitrust issues, sent a letter to Live Nation Chief Executive Michael Rapino Thursday. She asked him a handful of questions, including how much the company had spent to upgrade technology to handle demand surges and what percentage of high-profile tour tickets were reserved for presales.

“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,” Klobuchar wrote in the letter about the Taylor Swift ticket situation. “Ticketmaster’s power in the primary ticket market insulates it from the competitive pressures that typically push companies to innovate and improve their services.”

Sen. Klobuchar’s letter came a day after Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said he is looking into the situation. Some of the shows on Swift’s tour are at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti is concerned about consumer complaints related to @Ticketmaster’s pre-sale of @taylorswift13 concert tickets,” Skrmetti’s office announced on Twitter Wednesday night. “He and his Consumer Protection team will use every available tool to ensure that no consumer protection laws were violated.”

Reuters and Axios contributed to this report.

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