WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has reportedly opened an antitrust investigation into Live Nation Entertainment, Ticketmaster's parent company, for possible abuse of power in the live music industry, according to the New York Times.
Ticketmaster has circulated the news cycle this week after a pre-sale event for Taylor Swift's 52-date stadium tour on Tuesday descended into chaos due to overwhelming demand for tickets.
The company issued an explanation on Thursday, which has since been deleted, about the problems during the Verified Fan event. According to Ticketmaster, the company experienced 3.5 billion system requests, from bots and fans without codes, causing the site crash.
Criticism skyrocketed even further when Ticketmaster canceled the general public sale for Swift's tour, citing a lack of ticket inventory. The company did not clarify whether the sale would be rescheduled or how many tickets were still available.
According to the New York Times, the antitrust investigation predates Ticketmaster's chaotic pre-sale event.
Staff members of the Justice Department's antitrust division said the department has been contacting music venues and players in the ticket market about Live Nation's practices in recent months, the New York Times reported Friday.
Meanwhile, Swift broke her silence on Friday after the weeklong sales fiasco surrounding her upcoming stadium tour.
"There are a multitude of reasons why people had such a hard time trying to get tickets and I’m trying to figure out how the situation can be improved moving forward," Swift said in a lengthy statement posted on Instagram Stories.
"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," she added.
Swift explained that she and her team had asked Ticketmaster multiple times if they could handle this kind of demand "and we were assured they could."
"It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them. And to those who didn’t get tickets, all I can say is that my hope is to provide more opportunities for us to all get together and sing the songs," Swift said.
Ticketmaster previously said that more than 2 million tickets for Swift's 2023 tour were sold during presales on Tuesday, the most tickets ever sold on the platform in a single day.
The Eras Tour is the singer's first tour since 2018.