Chủ Nhật, Tháng Một 29, 2023
HomeTechSenate questions Live Nation president amid Taylor Swift ticketing debacle • TechCrunch

Senate questions Live Nation president amid Taylor Swift ticketing debacle • TechCrunch

“I can respectfully suggest that Ticketmaster look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m the problem, it’s me,’” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said at a Senate session on Wednesday. Three, referring to Taylor Swift’s latest hit “anti-hero.” During a hearing on consumer protection and competition in the live entertainment sector, senators questioned Live Nation CFO and president Joe Berchtold over concerns that the company had purchased Ticketmaster in 2010 may be exclusive.

In November, “Verified fanThe pre-sale for Swift’s much-anticipated Era tour is on! terrible mistake. In an unprecedented move, Ticketmaster halted sales due to overwhelming demand, saying the site experienced 3.5 billion system requests, or more than four times its previous peak, due to calls bot attack. A month later, Mexican regulators fined Ticketmaster when thousands of fans turned their backs on a match. Bad Bunny concertdespite holding tickets purchased on Ticketmaster (the management agency said the company had sold too many tickets, but Ticketmaster confirmed that this was a fake ticket).

After years of paying hidden fees and losing tickets to speculators, fans as well as regulators have had enough. Giving another Swift reference, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said that music and sports fans now understand the risks of a corporate merger.all is good.” And as the chair of the Federal Trade Commission Lina Khan speak at the time Swift’s ticket sales failed, the incident “turned more Gen Z’ers into antitrust overnights than anything I could possibly have done.”

When the government investigated the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation more than twelve years ago, the Justice Department reported that the combined company would 80% control of major concert venues. Asked on Tuesday, Berchtold said he believes the company actually controls about 50 to 60 percent of that market, due to the proliferation of secondary resale markets on sites like SeatGeek; its founder and CEO Jack Groetzinger also testified at the hearing. However, Ticketmaster sells tickets to 80 of the top 100 arenas in the country, while Live Nation can sometimes act as promoter, owner, and operator of the same venue.

This arrangement is not good for fans, who can watch their favorite artist sell out in an arena show in seconds, just because thousands of tickets bought by bots will be reposted in no time. immediately at double the price. But it also harms the musicians themselves.

Testifying before the senate, independent musician Clyde Lawrence speak, “In a world where the advertiser and the venue are not linked, we can trust that the advertiser will find the best deal from the venue; however, in this case, promoter and location are part of the same corporate entity, so the line items are essentially Live Nation negotiating to pay for itself.” Lawrence added that artists don’t get a cut in ticketing fees, jacket checks, parking passes or bar cards, while Live Nation takes 20% of their revenue from merchandise sales. If he played a show where tickets cost $42 including fees, Lawrence said his band would get $12. After putting half of that into touring expenses, the band received $6 per ticket, which was divided among all members before taxes.

The Justice Department approved the merger in 2010 on the condition that a consent decree was obtained to prevent Live Nation and Ticketmaster from acting too much like a monopoly. But in 2019, Justice officials alleged that the company violate deal, as Live Nation pressured venues into signing with Ticketmaster. As a result, the decree — which was expected to expire that year — was extended to remain in effect until 2025, including some Revision.

Now, due to the Swift snafu case, the department is re-investigating Live Nation.

“If the Department of Justice establishes facts related to monopoly abuse and predation, then there must be structural remedies, such as dissolution of the company,” Blumenthal said at Thursday’s hearing. Three. “We’ll see what the Justice Department finds.”

Several Senators proposed potential solutions to the problem.

Passed under the Obama administration in 2016, the Better Online Ticketing Act (aptly named the BOTS Act) grants the FTC license to crack down on bot-driven ticket resellers . Senator Blumenthal and Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) argue that, in the same vein, the FTC needs to pressure Live Nation to figure out its bot problem.

“There must be people from whom you can get some helpful advice, because of our critical infrastructure in this country — whether it’s utilities, electricity, water, energy, services, etc. banks, credit card processors, payment processors, healthcare companies — you know, they get bot attacks every day, with thousands and thousands, and they’ve found come up with it but you don’t,” said Senator Blackburn.

The BOTS Act has only been enforced once since 2016, when the FTC charged three brokers with overselling tickets. $31 million in fines in 2021.

Berchtold testified: “We have a limited degree of authority over something that is not consistently enforced.

Senator Blumenthal retorted, “You have unlimited court rights.”

Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) proposed that Live Nation be non-transferable to prevent bot reselling. The witnesses were silent for a moment, and Kennedy said sarcastically, “Don’t jump in all at once.” This proposal can make simple conveniences difficult, such as buying two tickets and sending one to a friend, or selling tickets if you get sick before a show; plus, it may encourage fraudulent ticket sales. Groetzinger, who runs a large resale site, said he would not support such a policy; Berchtold said he would.

The commission’s path to holding Live Nation accountable is unclear, but the Justice Department’s investigation into Live Nation is ongoing.




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