How A Taylor Swift Tour Thrust Antitrust Concerns Into The Spotlight

By Rebecca Klar, staff write Twitter.

Taylor Swift fans have bad blood with Ticketmaster after the platform canceled the general sale for the pop star’s upcoming tour following a chaotic presale this week, bringing new light to an issue that supporters of antitrust reform already knew all too well. 

Critics have been warning against the company’s dominance since merging with Live Nation in 2010, and the latest fiasco with Swift’s upcoming tour, which sparked outrage among her massive fan base, gave ammunition to lawmakers trying to revamp antitrust laws to pile on the pressure. 

The building momentum from Swift’s fans comes as the Biden administration has pledged to take a tough stance on competition. The New York Times reported Friday that Ticketmaster is facing a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation over whether it has abused its market power.

The probe reportedly predates the sale of Swift’s “The Eras” tour, but the high-profile nature of the tour thrust the issue into the spotlight. 

“The enormous interest in this performer and in this episode, concerning the availability of tickets to see her perform, is a big example of what we see so often in American public life — that policy change, action, often is catalyzed by a single event,” said William Kovacic, a former Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chairman and a George Washington University law professor. 

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