Ticketmaster’s Taylor Swift fiasco takes center stage on Capitol Hill

While Republicans and Democrats can’t seem to agree on much these days, they are on the same page about one thing: Ticketmaster’s Taylor Swift presale didn’t go “All Too Well.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a Congressional hearing Tuesday to question Ticketmaster officials and address the “Bad Blood” between the company, music artists, fans and the industry.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who called for the hearing, told ABC News, “Some of the things that came out of the Taylor Swift concert were larger than life because it’s Taylor Swift, but many of the things were things we’ve been hearing for years, and it’s time to take this on. The fees are too high, and there’s not enough competition.”

She also commended Taylor’s fans, aka Swifties, for “[moving] some of my colleagues on monopolies.”

The point of Tuesday’s hearing is to look into the 2010 merger between Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation. Critics had opposed the merger from the start, saying it gave Live Nation too much power and influence in the live entertainment industry.

Critics have accused Live Nation of raising ticket prices, shutting out smaller venues, crushing smaller artists and sidelining rival ticket companies.

As for Ticketmaster’s approach to Tuesday’s hearing, Billboard has learned the company plans to blame scalpers for creating problems during the presale. The outlet obtained the opening remarks Live Nation CEO Joe Berchtold plans to read, which claims scalpers used illegal bots to attack Ticketmaster and wreak havoc.

According to Billboard, the opening statement says, “In this forum where we are here to discuss public policy, we also need to recognize how industrial scalpers breaking the law using bots and cyberattacks to try to unfairly gain tickets contributes to an awful consumer experience.”

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