Ticketmaster Cast as a Powerful Monopoly at Senate Hearing
The Judiciary Committee, responding to the bungled sale of Taylor Swift concert tickets, heard the company apologize and its critics trace the problem to the industrys lack of competition.
Live Nation Entertainment, the concert industry giant that owns Ticketmaster, came under withering attack during a Senate Judiciary hearing on Tuesday, with committee members from both parties criticizing it for the botched sale of tickets to Taylor Swifts latest tour and calling the company a monopoly that hinders competition and harms consumers.
Over nearly three hours, senators pilloried a top Live Nation executive, Joe Berchtold, over the handling of Ms. Swifts tickets last November and over longstanding allegations that the company badgers its competitors to win new business. Such bullying would be a violation of a Justice Department agreement that set conditions on the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster in 2010.
This is all the definition of monopoly, said Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota. Live Nation is so powerful that it doesnt even need to exert pressure. It doesnt need to threaten. Because people just fall in line.
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