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U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Mn.) and Mike Lee (R-Ut.) — chairwoman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights — have stated that the previously announced Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the lack of competition in the ticketing industry will be held at 10:00 am on Tuesday, Jan. 24. 

The hearing will be titled “That’s The Ticket: Promoting Competition and Protecting Consumers in Live Entertainment” and will be held before the full Senate Judiciary Committee with Chair Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and incoming Ranking Member Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

In a statement, Klobuchar said, “The issues within America’s ticketing industry were made painfully obvious when Ticketmaster’s website failed hundreds of thousands of fans hoping to purchase tickets for Taylor Swift’s new tour, but these problems are not new. For too long, consumers have faced high fees, long waits, and website failures, and Ticketmaster’s dominant market position means the company faces inadequate pressure to innovate and improve. At next week’s hearing, we will examine how consolidation in the live entertainment and ticketing industries harms customers and artists alike. Without competition to incentivize better services and fair prices, we all suffer the consequences.”

Klobuchar, who has been especially outspoken in her criticism of the ticketing giant since the Swift ticketing debacle in October, spoke with Variety at length about the issues last month. “As they’ve said publicly, they should have done better on the Taylor Swift ticket sales. We know that, but we believe it’s not enough. I believe that we need to get to the bottom of the problems in the ticketing industry,” she said. “What happens with monopolies is the people who get hurt by them also are afraid of them. They don’t want to come forward because they think they’re going to get screwed.” 

“American consumers deserve the benefit of competition in every market, from grocery chains to concert venues,” said Lee. “I look forward to exercising our Subcommittee’s oversight authority to ensure that anticompetitive mergers and exclusionary conduct are not crippling an entertainment industry already struggling to recover from pandemic lockdowns.”

“It’s been more than a decade since Ticketmaster merged with Live Nation, and competition in the ticketing and live entertainment industries has only gotten worse.  Too often, consumers are the ones who pay the price for this market failure,” said Durbin. “I look forward to this hearing to explore what led to this environment, as well as steps we can take to bring competition back to these industries in a way that puts fans and artists first.”

“I’m glad to see the committee will look into the Ticketmaster debacle,” said Graham. “I look forward to hearing more about how we got here, and identifying solutions.”

This hearing comes after reports of significant service failures and delays on Ticketmaster’s website in November left fans unable to purchase concert tickets for Taylor Swift’s new tour.

In November, Klobuchar wrote a letter to Ticketmaster expressing concern about the lack of competition in the ticketing industry and questioning whether the company is taking necessary steps to provide the best service it can to consumers.