Senate subcommittee issues subpoena over Taylor Swift ticket sales debacle

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Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on House Investigations, accused Live Nation of “obstructing” his months-long investigation into last year’s Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen concert sales failures. File photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

Nov. 20 (UPI) — A Senate subcommittee issued a subpoena on Monday to Live Nation and its Ticketmaster subsidiary, as part of an ongoing investigation into ticket prices and fees following the collapse of Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen concert sales last year.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who is also chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, said the subcommittee comes after Live Nation “paused” their months-long investigation, which was announced Monday.

Blumenthal said, “Live Nation has seriously obstructed my subcommittee’s investigation into abusive consumer practices – making the subpoena necessary.” in a statement monday. “This subpoena demands that the company immediately comply with our request for the documents necessary to understand its business practices.”

Live Nation is an event promoter and Ticketmaster is a ticket seller, both controlling approximately 70% of the market for live event venues after a 2010 merger.

“American consumer deserve fair ticket pricesWithout hidden fees or predatory allegations,” Blumenthal said. “And the American public deserves to know how Ticketmaster’s unfair practices were enabled by its abuse of monopoly power.”

The Senate subcommittee announced Monday that it launched its own investigation in March after multiple sales irregularities and complaints about ticket prices for Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen concerts.

In a letter to Live Nation, Blumenthal wrote that the subpoena “seeks records related to Live Nation/Ticketmaster’s failure to combat artificially inflated demand by bots in multiple, high-profile incidents that resulted in consumers Exorbitant ticket prices were charged.”

The request includes annual financial data related to fees, company recommendations for ticket pricing, business strategies regarding ticket pricing, secondary ticketing and bots, communications related to high-profile events in 2022, and regarding ticket pricing and fees. Includes customer research and surveys. ,” the panel said.

In a letter to Live Nation CEO Michael Rapinoe last week, Blumenthal wrote, “Despite nearly eight months and extensive efforts to obtain voluntary compliance, Live Nation/Ticketmaster has failed to fully comply with PSI’s requests.” “has failed, including by refusing to produce certain important documents for the subcommittee’s investigation.”

According to an email to CNBC, a spokesperson for Live Nation said, “Live Nation has worked voluntarily with the subcommittee from the beginning, providing extensive information and holding multiple meetings with staff.”

A Live Nation spokesperson said, “In order to provide the additional information requested regarding artist and customer compensation and other similarly sensitive matters, we have asked for standard confidentiality measures.” “So far, the subcommittee has declined to provide such assurances, but we will provide additional information on these issues if and when these protections are in place.”

(Tags to translate)Richard Blumenthal(T)Live Nation(T)Taylor Swift(T)TicketMaster(T)Senate Subcommittee(T)Bruce Springsteen(T)Ticket Prices(T)President of the Senate(T)Ticket Vendors

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