A Senate subcommittee has subpoenaed Live Nation/Ticketmaster, demanding documents as part of an investigation into exorbitant ticket prices for Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen and other concerts.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), who chairs the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, wrote earlier this month to Live Nation Entertainment CEO Michael Rapino and said that since the investigation was launched in March, the company “has not fulfilled their requests.
Read the letter to Rapino.
The investigation is looking into pricing, fees and ticket resale practices, among other things. The subcommittee is also seeking records related to “Live Nation/Ticketmaster’s failure to combat artificially inflated demand fueled by bots in multiple high-profile incidents,” Blumenthal wrote in his letter.
In a statement, Blumenthal said: “This subpoena requires the company to promptly respond to our request for documents essential to understanding its business practices. American consumers deserve fair ticket prices, without hidden fees or predatory charges. And the American public deserves to know how Ticketmaster’s unfair practices can be enabled by its misuse of monopoly power.”
A spokesperson for Live Nation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Live Nation has been under an extra level of scrutiny since last year, when the Ticketmaster website crashed amid an overload of demand for Swift concert tickets. Joe Berchtold, president and CFO, faced criticism from lawmakers of both parties at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in January. But Berchtold said the artist sets the ticket price and, in most cases, the venue controls the price.
The subpoena also seeks annual financial data related to fees, company recommendations for ticket pricing, business strategies regarding ticket pricing, secondary ticketing, communications related to high-profile incidents in 2022, and customer surveys and surveys regarding ticket prices and fees, according to a Blumenthal spokesperson.