Following the Taylor Swift Ticketmaster fiasco, more than two dozen Swifties are suing the parent company Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. They are citing “unlawful conduct” in the pop star’s “Eras Tour” sale. Per CNN, the fans are claiming the ticketing giant violated antitrust laws, among others. The lawsuit, filed in a California court on Friday (December 2), alleges Ticketmaster and its parent company were anti-competitive, imposing higher prices on fans in the presale, sale and resale market. It claims Ticketmaster forces concertgoers to exclusively use its site and controls all registration and access to Swift’s tour. Now, the Swifties are seeking a penalty of $2,500 for each violation.
The lawsuit also claimed that since Ticketmaster has agreements with the large stadiums in the tour, Swift “has no choice” but to work with Ticketmaster due to the size of her fan base. It also alleges that Ticketmaster profits off the resale of tickets in the secondary market by adding a service fee to its fan-to-fan exchange. The lawsuit states: “Ticketmaster is a monopoly that is only interested in taking every dollar it can from a captive public.”
As we previously reported, 3.5 million “Verified Fans” were sent a presale code, but when sales began, the heavy demand “broke” the website and millions of Swifties could not get their hands on a ticket. Ticketmaster canceled sales to the general public completely, citing “extraordinarily high demand” and “insufficient remaining ticket inventory.” The lawsuit alleges the company “intentionally and purposely mislead TaylorSwiftTix presale ticket holders by providing codes to 1.4 million ‘verified fans,'” despite the shortage of seats. Ticketmaster said more than two million tickets were sold on the first day of sales for her upcoming tour — the most ever sold for an artist in a single day.
“Millions of fans waited up to eight hours and were unable to purchase tickets as a result of insufficient ticket releases,” the lawsuit continued. “Ticketmaster intentionally provided codes when it could not satisfy demands.” Swift called out the ticket company for their lack of keeping their word, writing: “There are a multitude of reasons why people had such a hard time trying to get tickets and I’m trying to figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward. I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could. It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.”
Additionally, the Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into Live Nation to determine whether the company has a monopoly in the market for concerts, including ticket purchasing. Live Nation responded released a statement stating it “takes its responsibilities under the antitrust laws seriously” and “does not engage in behaviors that could justify antitrust litigation, let alone orders that would require it to alter fundamental business practices.”