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- The Senate Judiciary Committee is “watching” Ticketmaster as tickets are about to go on sale for Beyoncé’s upcoming tour.
- Ticketmaster has said demand for her Renaissance World Tour already exceeds supply by 800%.
- The ticket-selling giant has been the center of attention since ticket sales for Taylor Swift’s tour descended into chaos.
The US Senate has its eyes on Ticketmaster.
The ticket-selling giant is gearing up for tickets to go on sale next week for Beyoncé’s upcoming Renaissance world tour. But the Senate Judiciary Committee has warned the embattled platform against having a repeat of the Taylor Swift ticket fiasco.
“We’re watching, @Ticketmaster,” the Senate Judiciary Committee tweeted Thursday.
Ticketmaster has already warned the Bey Hive that fan demand “already exceeds the number of tickets available by more than 800%,” adding that “many interested fans may not be able to get tickets because demand drastically exceeds supply.”
Ticketmaster has been in the committee’s sights since the sale for Taylor Swift’s upcoming Eras Tour descended into chaos in November, with its site crashing, fans locked out of the presale, and Ticketmaster ultimately canceling all ticket sales for the general public after it ran out.
“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 on Instagram after the ticket sale.
Joe Berchtold, Live Nation Entertainment’s president and chief financial officer, apologized to Swift and fans in testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He said that the company faced bot attacks during the Eras sale.
“We apologize to the fans. We apologize to Ms. Swift,” Berchtold said. “We need to do better and we will do better.”
But, in that Senate Judiciary Committee meeting last month, some senators argued Ticketmaster — which merged with Live Nation in 2010 — holds a monopoly over the ticket-buying business.
Lawmakers and witnesses repeatedly hammered Live Nation Entertainment over the impact of its 2010 merger, which combined Live Nation and Ticketmaster into the larger firm. In the wake of the Eras tour, fans and legislators alike pointed the finger at what they said was a monopoly.
The Justice Department was reportedly investigating the merger even prior to the Eras sale, although Live Nation has stressed that it “takes its responsibilities under the antitrust laws seriously and does not engage in behaviors that could justify antitrust litigation, let alone orders that would require it to alter fundamental business practices.”
In the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar said that Live Nation Entertainment’s practice of owning major venues, locking in contracts with other major venues, and controlling promotion for artists are “all a definition of monopoly.”
Representatives for Live Nation did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
While ticketing strifes impact artists as big as Beyoncé and Swift, smaller artists say an increasingly shrinking industry has also led to stagnant wages and unsustainable tour costs.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.