I think there has been a mistake. After Ticketmaster turned presales for Taylor Swift’s upcoming Eras tour into a certified shitshow (eg fans waiting in virtual lines for hours and millions being shut out of tickets while bots scoop up seats), members of Congress from both sides of the aisle may seem to actually be working together against a common enemy.
Back in November, Late. Amy Klobuchar wrote a letter to Live Nation Entertainment— the company that emerged after ticketing giant Ticketmaster combined with powerful venue operator Live Nation — and said the merger “insulates” the company “from the competitive pressures that typically push companies to innovate and improve their services.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said it clearly when she tweeted: “Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, that is [sic] merger with LiveNation should never have been approved and they need to be ruled in. Break them up.” (Swift himself wrote in an Instagram Story that it was “unbearable for me to just watch mistakes happen with no way out.”)
On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee convened a hearing to question Live Nation Entertainment, and both Democrats and Republicans were quick to criticize and scary-yet-impressive lyrical puns. The hearing focused on the company’s “monopolistic” practices, according to The packaging, which has resulted in high ticket prices and poor distribution technology. Republican Sen. John Kennedy told Joe Berchtold, the president and chief financial officer of Live Nation Entertainment: “The way your company handled ticket sales with Ms. Swift was a debacle.” Fellow GOP Sen. Josh Hawley echoed the sentiment. “You, in a monopoly, force everyone into your ecosystem,” he said. “I just don’t see how consumers win in this exchange.” About The packaging, Sen. Richard Blumenthal pointed out the committee’s bipartisanship, telling Berchtold, “You have brought together Republicans and Democrats in an absolutely unified cause.”
Madison is a senior writer/editor at ELLE.com, covering news, politics and culture. When she’s not on the internet, you can most likely find her taking a nap or eating banana bread.