Updated November 18, 2022 - 1:54 pm
Taylor Swift is sounding off, and the Justice Department is reportedly investigating Live Nation’s partnership with Ticketmaster.
These developments have surfaced in the immediate aftermath of breakdowns in Ticketmaster’s ticket-selling system for Swift’s upcoming U.S. Tour.
Swift posted on social media Friday, “It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse.”
Citing “extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems,” Ticketmaster on Thursday announced it was not moving forward with public on sale for the tour, which would have been Friday. Millions of fans were unable to access the tour’s presale platform and complained about long wait times and system crashes.
Reportedly, Ticketmaster received 14 million requests for “The Eras” tour dates. Swift is scheduled to play Allegiant Stadium on March 24 and 25.
Ticketmaster has not issued a public statement since Thursday’s announcement of scrapping the public sale. Tour promoter Live Nation has not posted or issued any statement, nor responded to requests for comment.
As Swift went public, the New York Times reported Friday the Justice Department has embarked on an antitrust investigation into Ticketmaster’s partnership with Live Nation, under the name Live Nation Entertainment. Citing two sources with knowledge of the development, the publication said the investigation is centered on whether the two entertainment heavyweights have abused their collective power in the live music industry.
Though reported Friday, after the Swift saga unfolded, the investigation predates the messy Ticketmaster sale. For months, Justice Department officials have been contacting venues and executives, questioning Live Nation’s business practices within the entertainment industry, according to the reporting.
The inquiry appears to be investigating whether the merger, approved in 2010, has created a monopoly over the entire industry.
Live Nation is the international leader in live entertainment sales, and also the top-selling entertainment company in Las Vegas. Live Nation is in an exclusive booking partnership at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, where “Weekends With Adele” opens this weekend and where “Garth Brooks/Plus ONE” premieres May 18. The company also books all shows at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.