WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Some lawmakers are up in arms over Ticketmaster and say the company is abusing its market position and harming consumers.
“I’m sure there was a lot of people who really wanted to buy tickets, I couldn’t buy tickets,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said.
From social media to the halls of Congress, the struggle for Taylor Swift fans to get tickets is creating bad blood for Ticketmaster.
“Ticketmaster being unable to handle the number of people who wanted to buy tickets, just shows the merger did harm consumers,” Gillibrand said.
Gillibrand is one of the thousands of Swift fans still hoping to get concert tickets. She says the situation was made worse by a 2009 merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster. Now, she wants the Department of Justice to investigate.
“We have to make sure that we can prove the merger did not harm consumers by creating this near monopoly,” Gillibrand said.
Some say the high cost, and trouble of getting tickets is not something Ticketmaster should shake off.
“Ticketmaster controls 80% of all primary ticket sales,” NetChoice Vice President Carl Szabo said.
Szabo urges the Federal Trade Commission to get involved, over what he calls clear antitrust violations.
“They have no incentive to make sure that consumers are well served. They have no incentive to lower prices. And that’s why Ticketmaster’s quality, service and fees have gotten worse,” Szabo said.
Ticketmaster says “it’s impossible for everyone to get tickets” but admits they can “do more to improve the experience” of fans.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) agrees monopolies are a problem but says Democrats need to focus on the ones really hurting Americans, like big tech.
“They don’t care at all about those monopolies and the harms it’s doing because it benefits them politically,” Cruz said.