A lot of fans and artists have complained about Ticketmaster for decades. Many remember when an upstart band named “Pearl Jam” took on the corporation in the 90s. But alas, the young activist band was no match for the ticket selling giant. Since then, many have complained, but no one has done much to stop the company.
Bring on the Swifties — Taylor Swift’s devoted fanbase.
Unlike other people, artists, and entities that have complained but shied away from taking any concrete action, these fans aim to hit Ticketmaster where it hurts. Furthermore, they are not shy about calling out Ticketmaster for what they believe it is — a monopoly.
“Ticketmaster is a monopoly that is only interested in taking every dollar it can from a captive public,” according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges several things. First, the lawsuit, filed in a California court on Friday, alleges Ticketmaster and its parent company were anti-competitive, imposing higher prices on fans in the presale, sale and resale market. It claims Ticketmaster forces concertgoers to exclusively use its site and controlled all registration and access to Swift’s “The Eras Tour.”
The Swifties are seeking a penalty of $2,500 for each violation, and if they are successful, could do some serious financial damage to Ticketmaster, based on the millions of angered fans who did not receive tickets.
The lawsuit also claimed that since Ticketmaster has exclusive agreements with the large stadiums in the tour, Swift “has no choice” but to work with Ticketmaster due to the size of her fan base.
On top of all that, it also alleges that Ticketmaster profits off the resale of tickets in the secondary market by adding a service fee to its fan-to-fan exchange.
The lawsuit says the company “intentionally and purposely mislead TaylorSwiftTix.com presale ticket holders by providing codes to 1.4 million ‘verified fans,'” despite the shortage of seats. Ticketmaster said more than two million tickets were sold on the first day of sales for her upcoming tour, which is the most ever sold for an artist on a single day.
“Millions of fans waited up to eight hours and were unable to purchase tickets as a result of insufficient ticket releases,” the lawsuit said. “Ticketmaster intentionally provided codes when it could not satisfy demands.”
Ticketmaster claims that their system of giving out “verified fan” presale codes is intended to block “bot” traffic. Many fans of many bands, however, claim the system, in combination with their “dynamic pricing” encourages scalpers and other people only interested in profiting from concert tickets. Those people, according to many fans, don’t have any intention of attending concerts and are just looking to make a quick buck — or many quick bucks off of real fans. They claim Ticketmaster makes it all too easy for the scalpers.
The Swifties may have an unlikely ally in the Department of Justice, who is now allegedly investigating Ticketmaster and the parent company, Live Nation, over concerns that they are a monopoly and violate anti trust laws.
Ticketmaster has maintained their innocence in all of this, claiming they don’t violate anti-trust laws.
Millions of concertgoers who have been forced to use their system probably disagree with the company’s claim of innocence, by and large.