Taylor Swift recently told fans to draw their cat eyes sharp enough to kill a man, and Swifties took the advice to heart. 26 Taylor Swift fans unite to bring down Ticketmaster’s parent company LiveNation after botched ticket sales for Swift’s The Eras Tour in November.
A lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County alleges that Ticketmaster’s “anti-competitive scheme” involves forcing fans and artists to exclusively use its platform and its “secondary ticket exchange” to buy and sell tickets. It also alleges that Ticketmaster “willfully, willfully, and intentionally deceived shoppers” by promoting and distributing presale codes, specifically that it “did not disclose that they had sent more codes than tickets could accommodate.”
SEE ALSO: Meet the Swifties Trying to Take Down Ticketmaster
The complaint seeks $2,500 per violation. Corresponding Live Nation Chairman Greg Maffei, “14 million people visited the site” hoping to buy tickets for the Era Tour. He estimated that was enough people to fill 900 stadiums. Even if we assume that only 10 million of those hits were legitimate, Ticketmaster would still be required to pay out as much as $25 billion.
In November, Mashable spoke to Swifties about the agonizing wait and frustrating errors that plagued the ticket buying process. Blake Barnett, a 30-year-old attorney, said: “We sat in lines waiting for two or three hours…just when I got ‘You’re next in line’ it gave me an error code and said stand back into the queue. I was pushed back behind 38,000 people. It happened three times.”
In response, Barnett formed an LLC called Vigilante Legal to handle the mantle against Ticketmaster. On Twitter yesterday Vigilante Legal accepted the lawsuit but noted that they are not involved.
The ticket sales mess also caught the attention of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). tweeted about Ticketmaster’s monopoly on the industry. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Chairperson on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and senior member, Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, recently announced they will hold a Senate hearing on competition in the ticket industry would deter. And the New York Times has reported that the Justice Department has already investigated Live Nation over antitrust concerns.
In the ’90s, Pearl Jam, “America’s most powerful rock band,” tried to take over Ticketmaster’s monopoly and lost in court. Now a new generation has become radicalized.