A group of 26 Taylor Swift fans are suing Ticketmaster after last month’s fiasco that prevented frustrated users from buying tickets for Swift’s The Eras Tour (through deadline). In filed a lawsuit in a California court, the fans are accusing LiveNation, Ticketmaster’s parent company, of “anti-competitive conduct” that allowed scalpers to obtain a surplus of tickets, resulting in higher ticket prices for the fans who could actually get their hands on them.
In addition to alleging that Ticketmaster is forcing fans to “exclusively” use the service to purchase tickets at prices “above what would be a competitive market price,” the lawsuit alleges that Ticketmaster also profits from the resale of those tickets through its secondary marketplace. As described on Ticketmaster website, the company adds a service fee to each ticket sold on its fan-to-fan exchange — but doesn’t specify how much — which is paid by the buyer on top of the ticket price. The lawsuit alleges that Ticketmaster “conspired” with stadiums “to force fans to buy more expensive tickets that Ticketmaster gets additional fees for each time the tickets are resold.”
It also goes against the way Ticketmaster distributed the pre-sale codes that fans had to use to buy tickets. The suit alleges that the company “deliberately and on purpose misled presale TaylorSwiftTix ticketholders by providing codes to 1.4 million ‘verified fans'” when it actually didn’t have enough seats to go around. According to Ticketmaster3.5 million people pre-registered as verified fans to access the sale, but it had to put 2 million of these fans on a waiting list for a chance to get any remaining tickets.
“Millions of fans waited for up to eight hours and were unable to purchase tickets due to insufficient ticket release”
“Millions of fans waited for up to eight hours and were unable to purchase tickets due to insufficient ticket release,” the lawsuit states. “Ticketmaster deliberately provided codes when it was unable to meet the requirements.”
The complaint is demanding $2,500 per violation, which may not seem like much but could add up to a huge fine for the millions of people who tried to buy tickets for Swift’s tour. Jennifer Kinder, one of the lawyers representing the fans, told us The edge that while the case has not yet been accepted by the court at this time of writing, it should be on Monday. The edge contacted Ticketmaster with a request for comment, but did not immediately hear back.
Ticketmaster caused a stir when its site crashed amid “historically unprecedented demand” for tickets during the presale for Swift’s upcoming tour. The whole ordeal forced Ticketmaster to delay some of its advance sales until the tickets eventually sold out before it could even hold a public sale. At the time, Swift expressed frustration with the situation on Instagram, stating that it “really pisses me off” that fans felt “like they suffered several bear attacks” just to get tickets to one of her shows.