Nov 16, 2022 - Economy

Tennessee AG investigating Ticketmaster after Taylor Swift presale outages

Singer Taylor Swift performs onstage during the Z100's iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2019 at Madison Square Garden in New York on Dec. 13, 2019. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said Wednesday he's investigating Ticketmaster for possible antitrust violations after ticket demand for Taylor Swift's concert tour led to site outages and other technical problems, per Bloomberg.

Why it matters: Some consumers groups say Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation Entertainment, dominate the ticketing and live events industry and have called on the government to break up what they consider a near-monopoly.

Driving the news: Skrmetti said at a press conference that antitrust violations "could be an issue," per Bloomberg.

  • A lack of competition could've made the company complacent and led to poor user experiences and higher prices, he said.
  • "As an industry player, you would think Ticketmaster would be prepared," Skrmetti said about the pre-sale demand for Swift's tour.
  • "Because they have a dominant position, they may have thought they didn’t need to worry about that. This could be an indicator that there’s not enough competition in the market"

What they're saying: Ticketmaster tweeted on Tuesday afternoon that there had been "unprecedented demand" for Swift's tour presale tickets and "hundreds of thousands have been sold."

  • Ticketmaster is "actively selling tickets" and has a "great selection still available for most shows that are already onsale,” the company told Axios in an emailed statement.

Worth noting: Several Congress members have urged the Justice Department to launch its own probe into the state of competition in the ticketing industry.

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