Congress requests meeting with Live Nation following Taylor Swift mess
A congressional committee led by a New Jersey lawmaker is requesting a meeting with Ticketmaster's parent company to address the chaos surrounding recent Taylor Swift ticket sales, and general ticket pricing and availability issues.
The letter dated Dec. 6 to Live Nation CEO Micahael Rapino also asks the company to provide a list of any corrective action taken since mid-November to ensure better access for consumers.
Ticketmaster scrapped its general on-sale ticket launch for Swift's Eras tour last month after a "Verified Fan" presale crashed the site with a record number of tickets purchased in a one-day span.
Soon after, tickets were being listed for thousands of dollars online.
Ticketmaster created the Verified Fan system in order to reduce the impact of potential scalpers who can use technology to snag tickets before the real fans get a chance to shop, but the ticket seller noted that bots still got in the way during the presale period.
"This statement raises questions over your bot management solution and its ability to adequately protect consumers," reads the letter from the Energy & Commerce Committee, which is chaired by Frank Pallone, Jr., D-N.J. 6th District.
“The Energy and Commerce Committee has previously raised concerns about business practices in the live ticketing industry,” the Committee leaders wrote. “The recent presale ticketing process for Taylor Swift’s upcoming Eras tour — in which millions of fans endured delays, lockouts, and competition with aggressive scammers, scalpers, and bots — raises concerns over the potential unfair and deceptive practices that face consumers and eventgoers.”
To better understand the obstacles that consumers have recently faced, the committee is requesting a staff briefing with Live Nation.
"This should include a discussion on additional fees, insider reserves, dynamic pricing, restrictions on transferability, limited ticket availability, speculative ticketing, verified fan program requirements, and scalping by bots and other scammers," the letter reads.
Swift fans filed a class-action lawsuit against Ticketmaster and Live Nation this month, alleging fraud and antitrust violations such as price discrimination.
The Eras tour is scheduled to visit MetLife Stadium in May for three shows.