Live Nation Stock Hammered by Taylor Swift Ticket Sales Debacle

Shares of Live Nation Entertainment took a big hit Friday amid reports that the Justice Department was looking into widespread complaints over how Ticketmaster’s platform botched the sale of tickets to Taylor Swift’s concert tour.

Live Nation, the music promotion giant that is parent company of Ticketmaster, saw its shares dropped nearly 8% in trading Friday, closing at $66.21, as anecdotal reports spread of fans facing technical nightmares in trying to get into queues for a shot at buying ducats for Swift’s hotly sought-after The Eras tours. Ticketmaster’s advance pre-sale registration system was so overloaded as to malfunction. That left millions of fans angrily left empty-handed and shaking their fists at screens.

Swift shared her anger at the situation as well, telling fans via Instagram that she was upset that her fans faced so many hurdles and headaches.

“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,” Swift wrote.

Swift did not call out Live Nation or Ticketmaster by name. But she indicated that her team inquired in advance of the sale if “they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could.”

The highly public Swift debacle appears to have come as the Justice Department was already beginning to probe whether Live Nation has too much control of the live music marketplace given its prominence as a promoter of events and its dominance of ticketing via Ticketmaster.

Ticketmaster has long faced criticism and scrutiny of its business practices and the fees added on to each transaction. In the 1990s, the service had a long-running feud with Pearl Jam over the issue of pricing and fees.