Ticketmaster’s takeover has also resulted in higher ticket prices (as high as 78 percent, according to the advocacy group. More Perfect Union), which was a big hit with music fans. “What happened this week shows the importance of two currencies,” said Stacey Dogan, a professor at Boston University School of Law who specializes in civil litigation. “We’re seeing very high prices, and we’re seeing the system break down, probably because they have no incentive to innovate.”
On Thursday, Ticketmaster blamed “an incredible number of bot shows and fans who didn’t have invitation numbers” for driving “traffic that had never been on our site, resulting in 3.5 billion system requests – 4x our previous rate.” The quote has been removed from his website.
On Instagram, Swift said she and her team asked several times if Ticketmaster “could do this and we were assured they could.” He also said he’s taken many parts of his empire in-house to improve the fan experience (a move that benefits Swift, too). “It’s hard for me to trust an outside group with relationships and integrity, and it makes me happy to watch mistakes happen without helping them,” he wrote.
For a long time, bots have disrupted ticket sales. They handle the shortage and overflow of the reservation system with requests and bulk ticket purchases. US officials have tried to deal with them, but have had no luck. Congress passed a law in 2016 (The Better Online Ticket Sales, or BOTS, Act) to try to combat ticket-refunding bots. The Federal Trade Commission brought the first case under the lawsuit against three ticket sellers in New York in 2021. The European Union has also voted to ban ticketing bots.
But, over the years, Ticketmaster has made its business more difficult. Sometimes it sends customers to waiting rooms and, as was the case with Swift travel, requires codes to make reservations. It’s a complicated system that can confuse people, but it can give a leg up to scalpers and bots who use the system regularly and are well prepared to issue a ticket.
Moss says there is evidence in another case that is not credible now, and the DOJ, led by President Joe Biden, may take another side. But lawmakers could also step in with laws to crack down on ticketing and stop bots from wreaking havoc. Swifties aren’t the cause of Ticketmaster and Live Nation’s disruption, but a new force that’s pushing the old conversation to make a comeback. “The fans have suffered because they have no choice,” says Moss. “You might think it’s very rude [US attorney general]we hope to see a case. ”