DOJ investigating Ticketmaster owner: report
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has opened an investigation into Live Nation Entertainment, the owner of Ticketmaster, according to The New York Times.
The investigation predates Ticketmaster’s disastrous attempt this week to sell tickets to Taylor Swift’s latest tour, with the DOJ’s antitrust division contacting music venues and players about Live Nation over the past few months, the Times reported.
The DOJ is reportedly investigating whether the company has a monopoly on the market.
Ticketmaster faced well-publicized backlash earlier this week after its site crashed as Swift fans participated in a presale for tickets to her “Eras Tour,” the singer’s first since 2018. The ticketing company was forced to delay other presales and eventually canceled the public sale for the tour.
Several lawmakers responded with calls to break up Ticketmaster and Live Nation, whose merger was approved in 2010 despite pushback from Congress and the industry.
“Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, [its] merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be [reined] in. Break them up,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said in a tweet on Tuesday.
Live Nation’s CEO Michael Rapino defended the company over the botched sale, blaming the massive demand for the Swift tickets.
“There’s no nice way to tell 10 million Swifties, ‘There’s no tickets,’” Rapino said. “We invited a million and a half on that day to come and buy those tickets, but it’s kind of like having a party. Everybody crashed that door at the same time with 3.5 billion requests.”
The DOJ and Live Nation did not immediately respond to requests for comment.