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Senate to hold hearing on lack of competition in ticketing industry

Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced Wednesday that the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on Tuesday to examine "the lack of competition in the ticketing industry." File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
1 of 3 | Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced Wednesday that the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on Tuesday to examine "the lack of competition in the ticketing industry." File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The Senate judiciary committee will hold a hearing to examine "the lack of competition in the ticketing industry" next week.

The hearing titled "That's the Ticket: Promoting Competition and Protecting Consumers in Live Entertainment," will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m., Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, the chairwoman and ranking member of the subcommittee on competition policy, antitrust and consumer rights, said in a statement.

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"The issues within America's ticketing industry were made painfully obvious when Ticketmaster's website failed hundreds of thousands of fans hoping to purchase tickets for Taylor Swift's new tour," Klobuchar said.

Simmering concerns about Ticketmaster controlling too much of the live entertainment industry, and thereby artificially inflating prices, reemerged when technical issues resulted in protracted wait times for tickets to Taylor Swift's "Eras" concert tour in November.

"These problems are not new. For too long, consumers have faced high fees, long waits, and website failures, and Ticketmaster's dominant market position means the company faces inadequate pressure to innovate and improve," Klobuchar said.

Lawmakers in Congress have been urging the government to take action against Ticketmaster and its partner company, Live Nation, for years.

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In 2021, five members of Congress, wrote a letter to the Department of Justice asking for an antitrust investigation into Ticketmaster.

Though Ticketmaster's merger with Live Nation was approved by antitrust regulators in 2010, a 2019 investigation by the Department of Justice found that the companies had violated stipulations by requiring venues to use Ticketmaster when booking Live Nation acts.

In November 2022, Klobuchar wrote a letter to Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino stating that the merger allows the companies to "dominate the live entertainment supply chain with powerful positions in primary ticketing, secondary ticketing, concert promotion, artist management, tour sponsorships, and event venue operation."

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