It was reported last night that the United States Department of Justice is opening an anti-trust investigation into Live Nation, the company which owns Ticketmaster.
Ticketmaster shared a statement apologizing to Taylor Swift’s fans for the “terrible experience” when trying to buy a ticket for her 2023 tour.
This week (November 17), the general sale of tickets for Swift’s “The Eras Tour” 2023 was canceled by the ticket sales site due to “extremely high demand” and “insufficient number of remaining tickets to meet this demand.”
After Swift said she was “angry” that fans had to endure “several bear attacks” to buy tickets, it became known last night (November 18) that the US Department of Justice is launching an antitrust investigation into Live. Nation, the company that owns Ticketmaster.
In a statement on its website, Ticketmaster apologized to the affected fans, writing: “We strive to make it as easy as possible for fans to buy tickets, but that’s not the case for many people trying to buy tickets for the Taylor Swift|Epochal Tour.
“First of all, we want to apologize to Taylor and all her fans, especially those who had a terrible experience when buying tickets. Further, we consider it our duty to everyone to share some information that will help explain what happened.”
The statement explains: “Historically, we have managed to cope with the huge flow of visitors coming to the site to buy tickets, so for those who have verified fan codes, the purchase process goes smoothly. However, this time, the staggering number of bot attacks, as well as the number of fans who did not have codes, led to unprecedented traffic on our site, which led to 3.5 billion total system requests — 4 times more than our previous peak.”
Sharing a number of technical reasons why fans can’t buy tickets, Ticketmaster added: “The biggest venues and artists are turning to us because we have the leading ticket sales technology in the world — this does not mean that it is perfect, and obviously for Taylor Swift | Eras Tour was not on sale. But we are always working to improve the ticket buying experience. Especially for high-demand sales that continue to test new limits.
“We are working to strengthen our technology for the new bar that has been set by demand for the Taylor Swift|Epochal Tour. Once we get through this, if there are any next steps, updates will be published accordingly.”
The statement concludes: “Even when the high demand for the sale goes flawlessly from a technical point of view, many fans are left empty-handed. For example: based on the volume of traffic to our site, Taylor will need to play more than 900 concerts at the stadium (almost 20 times more than she gives)…this is a show at the stadium every night for the next 2.5 years. Although everyone can’t get tickets to these shows, we know we can do more to improve the experience, and that’s what we’re focused on.”
In her statement criticizing ticket sales, Swift wrote: “Good. It goes without saying that I am 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 into the house. I did this ON PURPOSE to improve the quality of service to my fans by doing it myself with my team, who cares about my fans as much as I do. It is very difficult to entrust these relationships and attachments to a third party, and it is painful for me just to watch the mistakes that happen without the right to correct.”
Swift continued: “There are many reasons why it was so difficult for people to get tickets, and I’m trying to figure out how this situation can be improved in the future. I’m not going to justify myself to anyone, because we asked them several times if they could convey such a demand, and we were assured that they could. It’s really amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that many of them feel like they’ve survived multiple bear attacks to get them.
“And for those who didn’t get tickets, all I can say is that I hope to give us more opportunities to get together and sing these songs. Thank you for wanting to be there. You have no idea how much it means.”
According to The New York Times, the new investigation against Live Nation preceded widespread rumors about Ticketmaster processes related to the sale of Swift tickets.
The Times reported that “the investigation is focused on whether Live Nation Entertainment abused its power over the multibillion-dollar live music industry.” They also reported that the Justice Department’s antitrust division has been in contact with music venues and ticket sellers in recent months, and the investigation appears to represent a broad look at whether the company has a monopoly in the industry.
In 2010, Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged into Live Nation Entertainment. The Justice Department accepted the merger at the time, but amended the deal in 2019 due to violations of the original deal (Billboard).
Meanwhile, Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Scrmetty announced the launch of an investigation into Ticketmaster after Swift fans reported problems with ticket purchases.