Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls for Ticketmaster-Live Nation ‘monopoly’ to be broken up in response to Taylor Swift pre-sale controversy
- Pre-sale tickets for Taylor Swift’s upcoming “Eras” tour went on sale Tuesday.
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and White House chief of staff Ron Klain tweeted criticisms at ticket sellers.
- Customers faced site crashes and exorbitant fees while attempting to buy tickets to the pop star’s shows.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused Ticketmaster of monopolizing the ticket sales industry on Tuesday after the company’s site crashed as Taylor Swift fans attempted to buy pre-sale tickets to the singer’s upcoming “Eras” tour.
Ocasio-Cortez took the opportunity to voice longstanding concern about the 2010 merger of Ticketmaster, the ticket sales and distribution company, and Live Nation, the events promoter and venue operator, into Live Nation Entertainment.
“Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, it’s merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in. Break them up,” the Democratic congresswoman from New York tweeted.
Ticketmaster announced on Tuesday that it had seen “historically unprecedented demand” for tickets to Swift’s shows as “millions” of fans flooded the site.
Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, it’s merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in.
Break them up.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 15, 2022
Congress previously urged the Biden administration to probe the “monopoly.” In April of 2021, Democratic Reps. Bill Pascrell Jr. of New Jersey, Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey, Jerry Nadler of New York, Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, and David Cicilline of Rhode Island sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Rebecca Slaughter, the acting chair of the Federal Trade Commission, asking them to revisit the merger, according to Variety.
“We write in support of strong antitrust enforcement by the Biden Administration, including the live event ticket sales marketplace,” the letter begins. “The evidence is overwhelming that the 2010 merger between the world’s largest concert promoter, Live Nation, and the biggest ticket provider, Ticketmaster, has strangled competition in live entertainment ticketing and harmed consumers and must be revisited.”
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain also chimed in on Tuesday, noting there were no site crashes when the administration’s student loan forgiveness application launched.
“Over my years in the public and private sectors, I’ve had people tell me: If only the government could work like business. Well, the team at @USEdgov and @USDS built a Student Loan Forgiveness portal that processed 8 MILLION applications in the first 30 hours without a crash,” Klain tweeted.
Over my years in the public and private sectors, I’ve had people tell me: If only the government could work like business.
— Ronald Klain (@WHCOS) November 15, 2022
Twitter users poked fun at the website crash. Social media influencer Ellie Schnitt tweeted, “When Taylor Swift wrote ‘the great war’ she was actually preparing us for the Battle of Ticketmaster.”
Due to the “historically unprecedented demand” and difficulties with the website, Ticketmaster released a statement saying those who have already purchased tickets are good to go and those who are still waiting in the queue should “hang tight.” The Capitol One onsale has been rescheduled for Wednesday, November 16 at 2:00 pm, local venue time.
— Ticketmaster (@Ticketmaster) November 15, 2022
“It’s me. Hi. I’m the problem it’s me.” — Taylor Swift, but also Ticketmaster after its site crashed.