Dozens of Taylor Swift fans sue Ticketmaster for antitrust law violations

Image+from+The+Current

Image from The Current

Shalini Pandey, Staff Writer

More than two dozen Taylor Swift fans are suing TicketMaster for the issues that occurred during the purchasing process for the Eras Tour tickets. They are suing for $2,500 per antitrust violation.

The TicketMaster website is under heavy criticism for how it handled ticket sales for the Eras Tour. Disappointed fans are claiming that TicketMaster violated several antitrust laws that are meant to regulate the operation of businesses and promote competition in their respective industries. The lawsuit was filed in California on December 2. The lawsuit describes common complaints about TicketMaster’s anti-competitive actions, claiming that it forces customers to use its website exclusively by controlling all access to Taylor Swift tickets. 

“Ticketmaster is a monopoly that is only interested in taking every dollar it can from a captive public…intentionally and purposely mislead TaylorSwiftTix presale ticket holders by providing codes to 1.4 million ‘verified fans,” the lawsuit reads. “Millions of fans waited up to eight hours and were unable to purchase tickets as a result of insufficient ticket releases. Ticketmaster intentionally provided codes when it could not satisfy demands.”

Junior Brooklyn Hornyak experienced difficulty while trying to purchase tickets for the Eras Tour with her Capital One code. 

“I was in the queue behind 2000+ people the day of the Capital One presale,” Hornyak said. “I waited about 15 minutes before I was finally able to purchase my tickets. Once I hit purchase, a box popped up with something reading ‘you need to sign in to purchase tickets.’ I was signed in. It made me reload and sent me to the back of the queue. I was unable to get the tickets.”

TicketMaster’s output of presale codes broaches the concern of its intent, as expressed in the lawsuit. Math teacher Mrs. Laura Ackerman, who was able to purchase tour tickets, is concerned with TicketMaster’s operation. 

I think there are definitely some questionable practices by Ticketmaster, and I think there has to be a better way to get tickets into the hands of fans instead of scalpers and scammers,” said Ackerman.

The technical difficulties that originated from Eras Tour ticket sales have attracted the attention of many notable names. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee announced that they will be holding an antitrust panel to discuss their concerns of lack of competition in the ticket sales industry. Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti is launching an antitrust probe and investigation into TicketMaster’s operations. 

TicketMaster stated in a recent Twitter post that general sale would be canceled due to limited ticket supply, despite their distribution of millions of presale codes. The website crashed many times as an effect of this distribution.

“TicketMaster needs to strengthen their server to be able to handle selling tickets to one of the biggest tours,” Hornyak said. “They were very unprepared and it shows.”

Demand for the Eras tour likely comes from the fact that Swift has not toured in 4 years. Loverfest, a miniature tour for her 2019 album Lover, was canceled due to the pandemic. The US tour lasts 4 and a half months, starting on March 18, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. There are no tour locations in Maryland, even after 17 extra shows were added. However, local Swifties dodged this obstacle by purchasing tickets in other nearby states. 

Ever since things started opening up post-covid I’ve been wanting to go see live music as often as I can,” Ackerman stated. “And since Taylor Swift is my favorite artist, I knew I wanted to go see her on this tour…[I’m] Excited for the show!”