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Taylor Swift Ticketmaster fiasco catches lawmakers' attention

Tennessee's attorney general vowed to investigate consumer complaints after "historically unprecedented demand" crashed Ticketmaster during Taylor Swift presale.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee's attorney general said his office plans to investigate consumer complaints about Ticketmaster after the website crashed under a surge of millions of Taylor Swift fans -- many of whom ended up ticketless.

Fans who registered in advance and received a special presale code for Swift's upcoming Eras Tour had exclusive access to buy tickets ahead of the general public. But when Ticketmaster queues opened at 10 a.m. local time on Tuesday, it turns out the website was not ready for it and the crush of fans took down the website. Many users encountered errors and glitches that kicked them out of line to buy tickets, waited in hours-long queues and paid inflated prices. 

“He and his Consumer Protection team will use every tool to ensure that no consumer protection laws were violated,” a news release from Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti’s office said.

Ticketmaster has not been accused of any actual misconduct. 

On Tuesday, Ticketmaster explained to fans that there had been "historically unprecedented demand" for the tour, with millions of people attempting to buy presale tickets. 

RELATED: Ticketmaster 'urgently working to resolve' issues during Taylor Swift presale

Some fans said they waited hours in the Ticketmaster queue only to have the Ticketmaster website kick them out, lose their spot and miss their chance at presale tickets. Ticketmaster was forced to delay sales for shows on the West Coast until later Tuesday afternoon, and a separate presale for CapitalOne cardholders until Wednesday.

Credit: Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour

Tickets quickly sold out. Despite Ticketmaster's "Verified Program," which is meant to keep tickets away from resellers, it didn't take long for many to end up on resale sites at exorbitant prices. 

Complaints about the chaos also caught the eye of lawmakers. 

"Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, its merger with Live Nation never should have been approved, and they need to be reigned in. Break them up," New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

Live Nation, a concert promoter, merged with Ticketmaster in 2010. Consumer advocates have complained the merger created something of a monopoly in the music events industry.

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal pointed out Ticketmaster's long history of controversial practices and added, "Long story short, your anti-competitive behavior has been no love story for Taylor Swift concertgoers."

The 52-date Eras Tour kicks off March 17 in Glendale, Arizona, and wraps up with five shows in Los Angeles ending Aug. 9. It is Swift's first tour since 2018. General sale tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. venue time Friday, Nov. 18.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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