Tennessee AG to Investigate Ticketmaster After Taylor Swift Presale Disaster (UPDATE)

Receiving "a number of complaints," Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti vowed to look into Ticketmaster after its Taylor Swift presale debacle.

Taylor Swift performs onstage during NSAI 2022 Nashville Songwriter Awards.

NSAI Songwriter-Artist of the Decade honoree, Taylor Swift performs onstage during NSAI 2022 Nashville Songwriter Awards.

Taylor Swift performs onstage during NSAI 2022 Nashville Songwriter Awards.

UPDATED November 17, 11:23 a.m. ET: Ticketmaster released a blog post further explaining Taylor Swift on sale.

Some keys things that explained what happened:

  • Over 3.5 million people pre-registered for Taylor’s Verified Fan, which is the largest registration in history. 
  • Historically working with Verified Fan invite codes has worked as we’ve been able to manage the volume coming into the site to shop for tickets. However, this time the staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn’t have invite codes drove unprecedented traffic on our site, resulting in 3.5 billion total system requests – 4x our previous peak.
  • Over 2 million tickets were sold for Taylor’s shows on Nov. 15 – the most tickets ever sold for an artist in a single day.
  • Even when a high demand on sale goes flawlessly from a tech perspective, many fans are left empty handed. For example: based on the volume of traffic to our site, Taylor would need to perform over 900 stadium shows (almost 20x the number of shows she is doing)…that’s a stadium show every single night for the next 2.5 years.

You can read the full explanation here.

Ticketmaster also announced they are canceling the public sale for Swift’s tour tomorrow due to high demands in ticketing systems.

Due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand, tomorrow's public on-sale for Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour has been cancelled.

— Ticketmaster (@Ticketmaster) November 17, 2022

See original story from 11/16/22 below.

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti announced Wednesday that his office will be looking into Ticketmaster and Live Nation in the wake of the disastrous presale event for Taylor Swift’s upcoming Eras Tour. 

“There are no allegations at this time about any misconduct, but as the Attorney General, it’s my job to ensure that the consumer protection laws and antitrust laws in Tennessee are being honored,” Skrmetti told reporters, per WJHL. He said “a number of complaints” were made to his office regarding the presale process, leading to a desire to better understand what exactly went wrong.  

Those who registered on the Ticketmaster website were given a chance to receive a presale code, but when the codes were sent out, customers were forced to deal with lengthy wait times or a site that wouldn’t load.

Ticketmaster released a statement claiming the issue was due to “historically unprecedented demand.” 


— Ticketmaster (@Ticketmaster) November 15, 2022

Skrmetti took issue with that defense. “As an industry player, you would think Ticketmaster would be prepared,” he said. “Because they have a dominant position, they may have thought they didn’t need to worry about that. This could be an indicator that there’s not enough competition in the market.”

The AG vowed to look into complaints over the customer service process, as some people claimed they were told it would take up to five days to get a response.  

He also said there will be an investigation into possible antitrust violations, considering Ticketmaster and Live Nation collectively hold over 70 percent of the ticketing and venue events market, per Bloomberg

“We’re looking at a company with an extremely dominant market share—I’ve heard it may be up to 70 percent of the concert venue ticket sales,” Skrmetti explained. “Any time you have that kind of concentration of market share, there’s the risk that the lack of competition will not just drive up prices for consumers; it will also reduce the quality of the product.” 

He continued, “Potentially, this is a situation where the quality of the product is reduced, where the infrastructure provided for ticket sales doesn’t rise to the level that the consumers deserve, because we’re not talking about a company that needs to compete as much to get the consumers’ dollars.”

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