Senators call upon Department of Justice to investigate Ticketmaster for its alleged “monopoly power”

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The Senate Judiciary Committee is calling upon the Department of Justice to further examine Ticketmaster’s alleged monopoly.

This comes after the bipartisan committee grilled Ticketmaster officials on Capitol Hill during a January Congressional hearing, which was proposed after the disastrous presale of Taylor Swift‘s Eras Tour.

Variety obtained a copy of the letter Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee sent the DOJ, which included evidence from the recent hearing.

“We have long been concerned about the state of competition in America’s ticketing industry, especially with the power and reach of Live Nation and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ticketmaster,” the letter begins.

The Senate committee claimed, “For too long, Live Nation and Ticketmaster have wielded monopoly power anticompetitively, harming fans and artists alike.”

Evidence from the hearing included the claim that “87 percent of Billboard’s Top 40 Tours in 2022 were ticketed by Ticketmaster in the U.S. and that Ticketmaster has exclusive ticketing contracts for more than 85 percent of the nation’s NFL, NHL, and NBA teams.” 

The letter adds Live Nation said those stats were inaccurate but did not “provide any alternative data.”

Live Nation apparently “provided no response” to other questions about its alleged monopoly, such as the number of venues it works with, its usage of exclusivity agreements and how many venue contracts it lost to competitors.

“Live Nation’s responses amount to ‘trust us.’ We believe that is wholly insufficient,” the letter closes. “We thank you for your prompt attention to these matters and encourage the Antitrust Division to take action if it finds that Ticketmaster has walled itself off from competitive pressure at the expense of the industry and fans.”

Critics have long accused Ticketmaster of raising ticket prices, shutting out smaller venues, crushing smaller artists and sidelining rival ticket companies.

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