Taylor Swift isn't the only problem Ticketmaster and Live Nation are facing right now. According to the New York Times, The Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into Ticketmaster owner Live Nation Entertainment, seeking to find out if the company "abused its power" over the live music industry.
The issue with Live Nation and the antitrust investigation precedes the situation with Swift and the millions of fans that brought the retailer crashing, forcing them to cancel a planned public pre-sale on Friday amid growing criticism from customers and Swift herself.
Breaking News: The Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into the owner of Ticketmaster, whose sale of Taylor Swift tickets descended into chaos this week, focused on whether Live Nation has abused its power over the live music industry. https://t.co/bNAWGXhYyU— New York Times Music (@nytimesmusic) November 18, 2022
According to The Times, the DOJ has been contacting venues and other people within the live event ticket market with questions about Live Nation and Ticketmaster practices. The bottom line of the investigation is to determine whether the company holds a monopoly over the industry. Live Nation and the DOJ did not provide comment to the Times' request.
As many noted in the wake of the Swift debacle, these complaints and issues with Ticketmaster are nothing new. Swift and her fans could be on the cusp of fighting Ticketmaster similar to Pearl Jam back in the '90s. Where the band was unsuccessful, this latest push could be what was needed to prompt change.
For Swift's fans, this week's issues showed the weakness of the system and its new processes, like Verified Fan to "weed out bots and professional scalpers." The system didn't work according to CNN, with some tickets popping up on StubHub for $21,600.
Thursday saw Ticketmaster cancel its planned public ticket sale for Swift's concerts, followed soon by the singer's first comments. "[It's] really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse," Swift said in her statement. "I'm not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them multiple times if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could...It's truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them."