There’s Bipartisan Agreement on One Thing: Ticketmaster Sucks – Slashdot
The partisan divisions we’ve become used to on Capitol Hill are if anything even more stark in the new 118th Congress. But so far, there is one thing Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate seem to agree on: Ticketmaster is a problem. From a report: “In terms of their monopoly power, I’m concerned about it,” Senator Josh Hawley told The New Republic in December. “I think we should look into it.” Finally, the Senate is going to. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee, the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee that oversees antitrust issues, jointly announced a hearing for Tuesday that will be assisted by committee Chair Dick Durbin and ranking member Lindsey Graham. “I look forward to hearing more about how we got here, and identifying solutions,” said Graham in a statement.
Ticketmaster has a dark history of confronting political rivals within the music industry. Pearl Jam was the last major live act to challenge the company in Congress in 1994. Pearl Jam filed a complaint with the Justice Department accusing Ticketmaster of being a monopoly. In an obscure House subcommittee, the complaint became an open airing of grievances on MTV by the band and its music industry allies against Ticketmaster CEO Fred Rosen, who, in turn, wrecked the Seattle grunge band’s subsequent tours with last-minute ticketing shenanigans. The government all this time has done nothing to rein in the company. In fact, quite the opposite: In 2010, the Justice Department approved Ticketmaster’s merger with Live Nation Entertainment, the company that owns the venues (and therein the concessions) where live music acts Taylor Swift and Bad Bunny perform for millions of adoring fans. For the world’s biggest acts, Live Nation offers an all-in-one vendor that can pack stadiums for the artist who, in turn, doesn’t have to deal with a galaxy of local players in the live events space, like venue owners, concert promoters, food and beverage vendors, public officials, and other hometown luminaries looking to dictate terms for the show.