Taylor Swift ticket sales cancelled as Ticketmaster faces scrutiny

Ticketmaster cancelled ticket sales for Friday for singer Taylor Swift's US tour as fans complained about website crashes earlier in the week and a US senator raised questions about the company's dominance. The post Taylor Swift ticket sales cancelled as Ticketmaster faces scrutiny appeared first on SABC News - Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..

Taylor Swift ticket sales cancelled as Ticketmaster faces scrutiny

Ticketmaster cancelled ticket sales for Friday for singer Taylor Swift’s US tour as fans complained about website crashes earlier in the week and a US senator raised questions about the company’s dominance.

Ticket presales for Swift’s Eras tour in the United States — her first tour in five years — opened Tuesday.

Fans who rushed to buy on the Ticketmaster website encountered long wait times and site outages, with many unable to obtain tickets.

Ticketmaster said in a tweet on Thursday afternoon that it was cancelling Friday’s public ticket sales due to “extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory.” It was not immediately clear whether any more tickets would be sold.

In a letter to Ticketmaster parent Live Nation Entertainment Inc, Senator Amy Klobuchar, chair of the Senate antitrust panel, voiced “serious concern about the state of competition in the ticketing industry and its harmful impact on consumers.”

“Ticketmaster’s power in the primary ticket market insulates it from the competitive pressures that typically push companies to innovate and improve their services,” added Klobuchar in the letter which she released publicly. “That can result in the types of dramatic service failures we saw this week, where consumers are the ones that pay the price.”

Ticketmaster said in a statement on Thursday that it had anticipated heavy demand for tickets but that extreme interest, combined with bot attacks, led to “unprecedented traffic on our site” and inconvenience for some fans.

“The biggest venues and artists turn to us because we have the leading ticketing technology in the world – that doesn’t mean it’s perfect, and clearly for Taylor’s … it wasn’t,” the statement said. “But we’re always working to improve the ticket buying experience.”

The company added that about 15% of interactions across the site experienced issues and that it sold 2 million tickets on Tuesday.

In her letter, Klobuchar asked Live Nation Chief Executive Michael Rapino to answer questions including how much the company had spent to upgrade technology to handle demand surges, and what percentage of high-profile tour tickets were reserved for presales.

The Ticketmaster statement did not respond to these questions.

Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged in a 2010 deal approved by the Justice Department.

The government can challenge a completed merger but rarely does so.

Klobuchar said she had been skeptical of the combination at the time.

Ticketmaster has angered artists and fans for decades.

In the mid-1990s, the grunge band Pearl Jam decided to tour without using Ticketmaster but found it too unwieldy and returned to the service after 14 months.

The post Taylor Swift ticket sales cancelled as Ticketmaster faces scrutiny appeared first on SABC News - Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..