Ticketmaster’s owner is reportedly being investigated by the Justice Department
J.D. Capelouto is a Breaking News reporter. You can reach him at email@example.com. Sign up for Flagship, our daily newsletter that distills what’s happening in the world into a concise, insightful morning read.
Ticketmaster's parent company Live National Entertainment is the subject of an antitrust investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice over whether it abused its power in the world of live event ticketing, The New York Times reported Friday.
The investigation predates the debacle this week in which some Taylor Swift fans were forced to wait for hours in virtual lines on Ticketmaster to buy tour tickets, dealing with glitches and site crashes along the way, according to the Times, citing two people familiar with the probe.
Ticketmaster merged with Live Nation in 2010. Part of the investigation is reportedly focused on whether the company now maintains a monopoly over the industry.
Semafor has reached out to the DOJ for comment.
Since the Taylor Swift ticketing debacle, some lawmakers have called for Ticketmaster for be investigated, saying it acts like a monopoly and therefore has no motivation to improve its technology.
Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar sent an open letter to Ticketmaster CEO Michael Rapino this week raising "serious concerns about the state of competition in the ticketing industry."
The issue goes back decades: The band Pearl Jam testified before Congress in 1995, arguing that Ticketmaster was ripping off fans by implementing anticompetitive practices and high fees.