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Takeaways From Senate Hearing On Ticketmaster Fisco


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RAMROD

Live Nation came under fierce questioning from lawmakers and competitors at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday that explored whether the company’s 2010 merger with Ticketmaster, which formed a colossus without equal in the multibillion-dollar live music business, had stifled competition and hurt consumers.

Here are four takeaways from the hearing, which was called after Ticketmaster had problems in November selling tickets to Taylor Swift’s coming tour, leaving millions of frustrated fans unable to buy tickets.
 

 

1.) Ticketmaster came under fierce criticism.

One of the most striking things was the sheer number of lawmakers expressing concern — not only about how Ticketmaster handled, or mishandled, Taylor Swift’s ticket sales, but on the larger question of Live Nation’s enormous market power and the effect on consumers.

 

2.) The anger was bipartisan.

Democrats and Republicans alike criticized Live Nation and discussed possible remedies including new legislation and even whether Live Nation-Ticketmaster, merged since 2010, should be broken up. For a Congress that is implacably divided on many issues, it was a remarkable display of consensus.

 

3.) Ticketmaster apologized for the problems with Taylor Swift tickets, but largely blamed bots and other external pressures for its problems.

Mr. Berchtold acknowledged that the company could have handled Ms. Swift’s tickets differently, such as spreading out the sales over a longer period of time. But he largely pointed to an assault from bots— automated programs from scalpers that seek out tickets — as the primary problem, saying that the bots had even attacked Ticketmaster’s servers. “This is what led to a terrible consumer experience, which we deeply regret,” he said.

But several senators did not seem to accept that explanation, and suggested that Ticketmaster, the industry leader, should have better protections in place to prevent such bot traffic.

 

4.) The next steps remain unclear.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, who called the hearing, said in a summation near the end that some of the problems in ticketing, including how bots can be counteracted, and whether there should be limits on the reselling of tickets, could be dealt with through legislation.

But she said that the larger questions of the day — whether Live Nation-Ticketmaster is a monopoly, and if so what action should be taken about it — were best handled by the Justice Department. Live Nation operates under an agreement called a consent decree, which was required by the Justice Department to approve the companies’ merger, and in 2020, the department extended it by five years. The Justice Department has already been investigating the company for many of the issues raised Tuesday; the near-unanimous criticism from lawmakers may add political pressure for the department to act.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2023/01/24/arts/ticketmaster-taylor-swift?action=click&pgtype=Article&module=&state=default&region=footer&context=breakout_link_back_to_briefing#4-takeaways-from-the-senates-hearing-on-ticketmaster-taylor-swift-and-competition

(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ✧*:・゚ my anxiety is chronic but our coffee’s iconic (*´艸`*) ♡♡♡
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RAMROD
5 minutes ago, Kimmo said:

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I fear nothing will change since Livenation CEO didn't think they were in the wrong and transfer the blame to the Senate instead ugh :bradley:

(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ✧*:・゚ my anxiety is chronic but our coffee’s iconic (*´艸`*) ♡♡♡
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monstertoronto

Thanks for this summary. I was curious about how this went.  It doesn’t sound like anything new was discovered and it sounds like any action will probably be a long time in coming  if ever. 

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Taylucifer

so basically the outcome of this was that a bunch of senators quoted Taylor Swift for a couple hours:vegas:

Born Pink out now!
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StarstruckIllusion
3 hours ago, RAMROD said:

I fear nothing will change since Livenation CEO didn't think they were in the wrong and transfer the blame to the Senate instead ugh :bradley:

Blame for what? What did the senate do lmao

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RAMROD
1 hour ago, StarstruckIllusion said:

Blame for what? What did the senate do lmao

 

1 hour ago, StarstruckIllusion said:

Blame for what? What did the senate do lmao

Livenation President on the hearing yesterday suggested that the biggest problems facing ticketing, like bots and scalping, were best tackled by Congress itself. 

“There are problems in the ticketing industry — problems that we believe can and should be addressed through legislation,” Mr. Berchtold said.

(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ✧*:・゚ my anxiety is chronic but our coffee’s iconic (*´艸`*) ♡♡♡
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bionic

The Ticketmaster lobbying is STRONG and funds a lot of political careers (particularly in blue states) so don't expect any meaningful legislation. Biden's toothless Justice Dept can't be counted on either

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Midnights Mayhem

To be fair, online buying of tickets should be out right banned due to the reasons such as bots and multi buying. 

Formerly Miss Dolly
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RAMROD
1 hour ago, Midnights Mayhem said:

To be fair, online buying of tickets should be out right banned due to the reasons such as bots and multi buying. 

It's not realistic for today's standard tbh. Nobody gonna be arśed to queue at ticketboxes/box offices for hours on end for show tickets anymore these days. Not to mention it will caused discomfort for common passerby cos half of their pavement are taken for queuing space for few blocks away. 

(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ✧*:・゚ my anxiety is chronic but our coffee’s iconic (*´艸`*) ♡♡♡
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Midnights Mayhem
50 minutes ago, RAMROD said:

It's not realistic for today's standard tbh. Nobody gonna be arśed to queue at ticketboxes/box offices for hours on end for show tickets anymore these days. Not to mention it will caused discomfort for common passerby cos half of their pavement are taken for queuing space for few blocks away. 

I’d rather queue than get ripped off from online buyers. Buying tickets online just leads to getting scammed and loads of folk just not getting tickets. 

Formerly Miss Dolly
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RAMROD
8 minutes ago, Midnights Mayhem said:

I’d rather queue than get ripped off from online buyers. Buying tickets online just leads to getting scammed and loads of folk just not getting tickets. 

I mean, do you, but most people won't. As that lady in old meme said, ain't nobody got time for that!

(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ✧*:・゚ my anxiety is chronic but our coffee’s iconic (*´艸`*) ♡♡♡
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