Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tells pissed-off Swifties to demand the Justice Department break up Ticketmaster after Taylor Swift tickets debacle

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.Drew Angerer/Getty Image

  • Ticketmaster cancelled its general sale for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour on Thursday, prompting outcry.

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez urged fans to “take action” on the “Ticketmaster monopoly.”

  • Lawmakers have previously called for the Justice Department to investigated the company.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez urged Taylor Swift fans to tell the Department of Justice to break up Ticketmaster after the latest debacle regarding ticket sales for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour.

Ticketmaster on Wednesday canceled its general public sale for the tour, which was planned for Friday, citing “extraordinarily high demands” and “insufficient remaining ticket inventory.” Tickers initially went on sale Tuesday for “Verified Fans,” who were chosen at random from a pool of applicants to receive access to the presale.

“Ticketmaster monopoly got you down? Take action with @MorePerfectUS,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted after the news broke, directing her followers to a tweet that said: “Tell the DOJ to break Ticketmaster up here.”

The tweet also included a link to a form that allowed users to sign up to send an email to the Justice Department requesting the investigation. The page, which said more than 28,000 emails had already been sent, said: “Live Nation-Ticketmaster owns more than 70 percent of the primary ticketing and live event venues market. They’ve routinely abused this market power to screw over concert-goers, sports fans, artists, venues, and other ticket companies. It’s time for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate their conduct and move to break them up.”

 

Ocasio-Cortez had also chimed in on the issue earlier this week after Ticketmaster’s site crashed during the presale for Swift’s tour, pointing to the controversial 2010 merger of Ticketmaster, the ticket seller and distributor, and Live Nation, the events promoter and venue operator.

“Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, it’s merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in. Break them up,” she tweeted Tuesday.

Lawmakers have previously asked the Biden administration to investigate the issue. In April 2021, Democratic Reps. Bill Pascrell Jr., Frank Pallone Jr., Jerrold Nadler, Jan Schakowsky, and David Cicilline sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland urging the Justice Department to investigate Live Nation Entertainment, the parent company of Ticketmaster and Live Nation.

“We write in support of strong antitrust enforcement by the Biden Administration, including the live event ticket sales marketplace,” the letter said. “The evidence is overwhelming that the 2010 merger between the world’s largest concert promoter, Live Nation, and the biggest ticket provider, Ticketmaster, has strangled competition in live entertainment ticketing and harmed consumers and must be revisited.”

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain also added to the discourse this week, comparing Ticketmaster’s site crashing with the government’s student loan forgiveness portal: “Over my years in the public and private sectors, I’ve had people tell me: If only the government could work like business. Well, the team at @USEdgov and @USDS built a Student Loan Forgiveness portal that processed 8 MILLION applications in the first 30 hours without a crash.”

The White House has not indicated whether it plans to investigate Live Nation Entertainment, although President Joe Biden indicated last month federal regulators were working to address “junk fees” tacked onto things like entrainment and travel.

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