Ticketmaster, Live Nation face increased pressure for DOJ probe from Republican and Democratic senators

LiveNation said Thursday that lawmakers should focus on 'chaos caused by scalpers and the resale-first side of the industry'

Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, urged the Justice Department in a letter this week to continue investigating Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation, for alleged anticompetitive conduct. 

It comes after a hearing last month in which senators grilled Live Nation President Joe Berchtold over the company's meltdown in mid-November during a pre-sale event for Taylor Swift's upcoming tour.

Thousands of fans waited in an online queue for hours to pay sky-high prices for tickets. The company's website crashed intermittently, problems that Ticketmaster blamed on attacks by bots. 

Ticketmaster

In this photo illustration, the ticketmaster website is shown on a computer screen on November 18, 2022. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Ticketmaster is the world's largest ticket processor. It sold over 282 million tickets through its systems in 2021, and more than 485 million tickets before the pandemic in 2019, according to its most recent annual report. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
LYV LIVE NATION ENTERTAINMENT INC. 99.77 -1.27 -1.26%

TAYLOR SWIFT TICKETMASTER CRISIS SPARKS SENATE JUDICIARY HEARING, LIVE NATION AND SEATGEEK CALLED AS WITNESSES

Klobuchar and Lee wrote in a letter on Wednesday to the Department of Justice Antitrust Division that they have "long been concerned about the state of competition in America’s ticketing industry."

"We asked Live Nation a number of questions about competition both at the hearing and afterwards, but it has largely failed to answer them," the senators wrote, referencing the January senate hearing. "Live Nation’s responses amount to 'trust us.' We believe that is wholly insufficient."

Ticketmaster cancels Taylor Swift's public sale

Ticketmaster's website crashed intermittently last November during a pre-sale event for Taylor Swift's upcoming tour.  (Fox News Digital / Fox News)

Live Nation said Thursday that lawmakers "would benefit from asking more questions about the chaos caused by scalpers and the resale-first side of the industry."

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"In the last few weeks alone, we’ve submitted more than 35 pages of information to provide greater context and transparency to policymakers on the realities of the industry," the company said in a statement. 

"These include the fact that this industry is more competitive than ever: Ticketmaster has actually lost market share since the 2010 merger, not gained it; that venues set and keep most of the fees associated with tickets and are increasingly taking an ever-larger share; and Ticketmaster has for years been advocating for a federal all-in pricing requirement."

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday. 

Fox Business' Aislinn Murphy contributed to this report.