Decades of Disputes Involving Ticketmaster, Artists, and Fans

Published May 23, 2024

For years, Ticketmaster has been at the center of controversy, facing accusations of monopolistic practices and conflicts with both artists and consumers. These disputes have frequently made headlines, highlighting the ongoing tensions within the live event ticketing industry.

Justice Department's Antitrust Lawsuit

A significant lawsuit was filed by the Justice Department against Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation Entertainment, suggesting they unlawfully monopolized the live event sector in the U.S., resulting in higher prices for fans and stifling competition.

Pearl Jam Challenges Ticketmaster — 1994

In the mid-90s, popular band Pearl Jam took a stand against Ticketmaster by lodging a complaint with the Justice Department. They argued Ticketmaster was abusing its market dominance to prevent venues from hosting the band, due to the group's opposition to Ticketmaster's high fees.

StubHub's Legal Battle with Ticketmaster — 2015

StubHub, an online ticket reselling platform, sued Ticketmaster and the Golden State Warriors, claiming they imposed restrictions forcing fans to use Ticketmaster's platforms for ticket resales — a move that allegedly inflated ticket costs and stripped fans' freedom to choose how to sell their tickets.

Swifties Confront Ticketmaster — 2022

Pop star Taylor Swift's fandom, known as 'Swifties', faced immense difficulties when trying to purchase pre-sale tickets for her 'The Eras' tour. The situation was so fraught that Swift herself expressed her displeasure online. The issues were ascribed to bot interference and an 'unprecedented' level of demand.

The Boss Fans Outraged by Prices — 2022

Bruce Springsteen enthusiasts were exasperated when ticket prices for his show skyrocketed due to Ticketmaster's 'dynamic pricing' approach. Although Ticketmaster stated that most fans got tickets at the standard price, some costs rose to several thousand dollars.

U.S. Senate Questions Ticketmaster — 2023

The U.S. Senate scrutinized whether Ticketmaster's lack of competitive pressures played a role in the flawed sale process for Taylor Swift's concert tickets. Debates in the Senate explored remedies, including proposed regulations to reduce scalping and enhance fee transparency. Some suggested separating Ticketmaster from Live Nation, which merged in 2010 under scrutiny of the Justice Department.

Minnesota's Taylor Swift Bill — 2024

Named after the frustration surrounding Taylor Swift's concert ticket sales, a new Minnesota law called the 'Taylor Swift bill' aims to offer better transparency and buyer protection for online ticket purchases. The bill demands upfront fee disclosures and cracks down on multiple sales of the same ticket. It will be effective starting January 1, 2025, impacting tickets sold for events in Minnesota.

Ticketmaster, artists, fans