Justice Department employees asked if Live Nation was complying with the agreement as part of their new investigation, said one of the people familiar with the matter. Agency officials grew increasingly wary of such settlements, believing the best way to settle antitrust concerns was through changes to the company’s structure.
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The disaster with tickets to Ms. Swift’s concerts this week has exacerbated complaints in the music industry and in Washington that the power of Live Nation has limited competition and hurt consumers. But it was also an example of the extraordinary demand for a highly desirable commodity given limited supply.
The problems began on Tuesday, when Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan system, which aims to weed bots and professional scalpers out of the process, began distributing access codes to fans interested in purchasing tickets for Ms. Swift’s Eras tour that’s set to begin in March. .
According to a blog post by Ticketmaster, which was posted Thursday but deleted within hours, 3.5 million fans have signed up for the show. The company “invited” 1.5 million of these customers to the pre-sale by sending them codes, and the remaining 2 million were placed on a waiting list.
On that day, Ticketmaster received 3.5 billion system requests, causing its app to crash for many users; Some who were in the process of purchasing tickets with their codes were unable to complete their transactions. According to Ticketmaster, two million tickets were sold on Tuesday alone. Another preview for Capital One cardholders was held on Wednesday.
On Thursday afternoon, however, Ticketmaster canceled its plans to sell general tickets on Friday, when it would normally sell out any tickets left after the pre-sale. It was not clear how many tickets have already been sold for Ms. Swift’s tour, and how many, if any, are left.
On Friday, in her first comments about the ticket debacle, Ms Swift posted a statement on social media saying she was looking into the situation to see how it could be improved. But she also expressed her disappointment in Ticketmaster.
Ms Swift wrote: “I will not make excuses to anyone, because we have asked them many times if they can handle this kind of request, and we have made sure that they can.”
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