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Klobuchar Demands Live Nation Address Ticketmaster Antitrust Concerns

 |  November 17, 2022

Live Nation Entertainment, the parent company of concert and ticketing giants Live Nation and Ticketmaster, has been attracting more heat from politicians in recent weeks. On Thursday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) sent a letter addressed to the company’s CEO Michael Rapino on Thursday morning, expressing her concern over what she called a lack of competition in the live music industry.

“Ticketmaster and Live Nation dominate the live entertainment supply chain with powerful positions in primary ticketing, secondary ticketing, concert promotion, artist management, tour sponsorships, and event venue operation,” Sen. Klobuchar, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, wrote.

Read more: US Senators Call for Live Nation Probe Over Ticket Prices

“Ticketmaster’s power in the primary ticket market insulates it from the competitive pressures that typically push companies to innovate and improve their services. That can result in dramatic service failures, where consumers are the ones that pay the price.”

Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged in 2010, creating the most powerful live music entity in the business. Ticketmaster is the industry’s largest ticketing platform, while Live Nation is the largest concert promoter, producing tours for many of the world’s largest pop stars and organizing festivals, including Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo. Fans have for years bemoaned growing ticket prices and high fees, while independent promoters and venues have expressed increased difficulty in competing.

The letter comes two days after Ticketmaster faced significant criticism online from fans who were looking to purchase tickets to Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour. While Ticketmaster is the ticketer for the shows, Swift’s tour is being promoted by AEG Presents and Messina Touring Group. 
Ticketmaster said it was expecting unprecedented demand for tickets to Swift’s shows, and Swifties who were lucky enough to even get a presale code waited in the queue for hours trying to get tickets, but the Ticketmaster website frequently glitched and crashed, given the high traffic and demand.