Terminating a company merger would solve the Ticketmaster sale problem


Nora Mariano

Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour is wildly popular, especially as around 70,000 people attended the opening night, however the concert had a rocky start with its ticket sales largely due to the platform Ticketmaster. 

Sophomore Lilia Fingerhut talks about her experience purchasing tickets.

She said, “I spent 8 hours waiting to get tickets during the presale just for (Ticketmaster) to kick me out as soon as I got in.”

When tickets first dropped in November, Ticketmaster stopped selling Taylor Swift tickets after the site encountered frequent glitches and errors. Many fans lost their chance at tickets because of the technical difficulties, leading to a group of 26 filing to sue Ticketmaster on Dec. 2 and 400 more people volunteering to join the case. Additionally, the Senate Judiciary Committee conducted a hearing on Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation, on Jan. 24.

Live Nation is the largest music promotion company in the world and combined with Ticketmaster, it has a monopoly on the music industry, so much so that the lawsuit questions the platform’s prices.

The lawsuit reads, “Ticketmaster does not charge high prices to give a better service, it charges higher prices because it has no real competition and wants to take every dollar it can from buyers.”

The company opposes such claims and instead argued in a statement published Nov. 19 that its control is solely because Ticketmaster has the best quality ticketing system, an ambitious claim considering its failure with Eras Tour tickets. Julie Barfuss, who is suing Ticketmaster, tried to purchase 41 different times and was charged thousands of dollars without buying a single ticket.

Because of the lack of competition with Live Nation Entertainment (the official name for Live Nation and Ticketmaster), the future of ticket purchases remains bleak. Without a contesting company, Ticketmaster isn’t in danger of losing its sales after the merger and isn’t pushed to innovate and improve its platform.    

To prevent similar disasters with future concerts, the U.S. government should absolve Ticketmaster’s merger with Live Nation. The merger occurred in 2010 under set requirements from the U.S. government and the Department of Justice (DOJ). In 2019 found Live Nation to be breaking the set conditions. Live Nation didn’t face any repercussions; rather the DOJ changed the agreement as well as extending it for five more years. 

Clearly, Live Nation Entertainment continues to be insufficient and the termination of its merger would assist in the creation of competing platforms. Other competing companies would have a better chance against a Ticketmaster not affiliated with Live Nation. From there, the consumer would have more options and consequently a better experience purchasing concert tickets.