February 7, 2023

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Congress asks Live Nation for answers

Congress asks Live Nation for answers

Taylor Swift accepts an award on stage during the MTV Europe Music Awards 2022 held at the PSD Bank Dome on November 13, 2022 in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Jeff Kravitz | Movie Magic | Getty Images

Lawmakers have some questions for Long live the nation CEO after Ticketmaster missold Taylor Swift’s tour tickets recently.

House Energy and Commerce Committee He wrote a letter to Michael Rapinoe on Tuesday asks the executive to explain the Live Nation ticketing process for the Eras Tour and provide a list of actions the company will take to ensure consumers have better access to live entertainment in the future. Live Nation is the parent company of Ticketmaster.

Ticketmaster was supposed to open sales to 1.5 million verified Taylor Swift fans last month before general ticket sales. However, more than 14 million users flocked to the site, including bots, which led to massive delays and site closures. Ultimately, two million tickets were sold during pre-sale and the general sale was cancelled, company representatives said.

Ticketmaster said that 3.5 million people had pre-registered as part of its “Verified Fan” program, which was designed to keep tickets in the hands of actual fans and not distributors, resulting in far more orders than could be met.

“This statement raises questions about your bot management solution and its ability to adequately protect consumers,” the House Committee wrote in a letter.

The panel also asked Rapino to provide insights into Ticketmaster’s surcharges, internal reserves, dynamic pricing, restrictions on ticket portability, Certified Fan Program, and scalping by bots and other scammers.

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In its letter, the committee noted that there is legislation in place to address anti-consumer practices and that Ticketmaster can be fined if it “knowingly sells incorrectly purchased tickets” through automated processes.

The committee requested that Rapino schedule a briefing by December 15th.

Live Nation representatives did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Live Nation, which merged with Ticketmaster in 2010, owns She faced long-standing criticism about her size and power in the entertainment industry Complaints that have gained strength after the IRAs round debacle.

Swift itself He publicly criticized the company to spoil the sale.

“I’m not going to make excuses to anyone because we asked them several times if they could handle this kind of request and we made sure they could,” she wrote in an Instagram post last month. “It’s really amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but what really amazes me is how many of them felt like they had multiple bear attacks to get them.”

Tickets for the IRAS tour are priced From $49 to $450, with VIP packages starting at $199 and going up to $899. Secondary market prices Ranging from $800 to $20,000 per ticket.