Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” broke Ticketmaster when its pre-sale launched, so much so that the general sale never even occurred. Now, scorned Swifties are suing the ticketing platform over its alleged mismanagement of the sale.
As TMZ reports, a group of Swift fans initiated the lawsuit in Los Angeles County, where Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation is based. Alleging fraud, price fixing, and antitrust violations, the suit accuses Ticketmaster of, at best, being ill-prepared for the demand “The Eras Tour” would spur, and at worst, “intentional deception.” For instance, representatives for the company said that they had only planned for 1.5 million fans to buy tickets during the November 15th pre-sale, with a waitlist designed for an additional two million prospective buyers. Instead, 14 million people attempted to book seats.
According to the plaintiffs, Ticketmaster was supposed to send out “Verified Fan” pre-sale codes on November 14th, the day before the pre-sale began. However, fans allege they didn’t receive said codes, opening the doors for bots and scalpers to buy and resell the tickets. The more insidious side of the lawsuit implies that Ticketmaster intended for scalpers to do just that, opening the door for the company to then collect additional fees each time the tickets entered new hands.
The plaintiffs are hoping to win back the “ill-gotten gains” Ticketmaster amassed through the pre-sale, TMZ says. Additionally, they’re looking to hit the company with a $2500 civil fine for each antitrust violation.
Swift, for her part, issued a statement of her own following the pre-sale. “It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them,” she said.
The US Senate’s antitrust has also announced plans to hold hearings on the lack of competition in the live music and ticketing industries. Ticketmaster and Live Nation merged in 2010, and combined are estimated to control about 70% of the market. The company was reportedly facing a Justice Department investigation even before Swift’s tour pre-sale, and since then Tennessee’s Attorney General has also announced an antitrust investigation.