The Weekly Podcast: Taylor Swift: Ticketmaster Hearings? We’ve Been There Before

By | December 1, 2022

After the Taylor Swift ticket debacle, will Congress hold hearings into Ticketmaster, focusing on antitrust and competitiveness?

If it does, it wouldn’t be the first time Congress asks questions of Ticketmaster.

In C-SPAN’s “The Weekly,” we recall two prior times Ticketmaster and Live Nation CEOs have had to testify to Congress about their merged companies – in the House and in the Senate.

This podcast preps you for a potential third Ticketmaster hearing, with Taylor Swift as its focus. After all, it’s a Taylor-made issue for Swift-action by Congress.

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Let me give you a case I don't know what Case uh who this Cuts in favor of you or Um the petitioners but I thought I'd ask It because it's the most famous nominal Damages case I know of in recent times Which is uh Taylor Swift sexual assault Case do you know that one uh vaguely Yeah you know a little few years ago and She brought a suit against a radio host For uh sexually assaulting her and she Said I'm not really interested in your Money I just want a dollar and that Dollar is going to represent something Both to me and to the world of women who Have experienced what I've experienced That's what happened the jury gave her a Dollar and and it was it was an Unquestionable physical harm but she Just asked for this one dollar to say That she had been harmed everyone's Talking about Taylor Swift just like Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan did on January 12 2021 during oral argument in A case concerning free speech and free Exercise of religion rights nearly two Years later there's a chance you're Talking about Taylor Swift because of Her new album and because you just can't Get tickets to her concerts because of a Ticketmaster snafu Now everyone is angry at Ticketmaster Congress feels your anger and is getting In the ACT Ticketmaster is facing Congressional hearings

They've been there before and when Ticketmaster returns to Capitol Hill They might get the same rough reception As in the past as we recall in this Episode of c-span's the weekly the Taylor Swift concert ticket debacle has Already prompted Congress to act Democratic senator Amy Klobuchar and Republican senator Mike Lee leaders of The Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Competition policy antitrust and Consumer rights have announced the Hearing to examine the lack of Competition in the thickening industry It's not the first time Congress has Held hearings about Ticketmaster on February 24 2009 a senate hearing looked At the proposed merger of Ticketmaster And Live Nation to evaluate the impact Of the merger on competition and Consumer rights No mention of Taylor Swift who at the Time was 19 years old but there was a Mention of another music star whose name You'll know here's Democratic senator From New York Chuck Schumer Mr chairman I've made no secret of my opposition to This merger I've told that to the CEOs Of both companies in my office this Morning First I want to say a word though about Ticket Masters recent actions in the Sale of tickets for Bruce Springsteen's Concert tour

We all know the basic story many fans Were told the shows were sold out when In fact they were not The fans were then provided links to Ticketmaster's own ticket reselling site Ticketsnow.com where they were charged Many times the face value of the tickets Talk about a way to have your cake and Eat it too Bruce Springsteen says Ticketmaster Abused his fans and I agree with the Boss Ticketmaster is the only major primary Ticket sailor in America with a wholly Owned secondary seller and it took Advantage of that corporate structure Which allowed Ticketmaster to charge Much higher fees with customers paying Hundreds or thousands of dollars for Tickets in the secondary Market senator Amy Klobuchar also mentioned musical Acts you'll recognize the music industry And live music in particular is very Important to my home state of Minnesota We're home based to many artists and We've made important contributions to Music including Prince and Bob Dylan Minnesotans like their music and they Particularly like to listen to live Music whether at larger stadiums like The Excel Center in St Paul or small Music venues like First Avenue which was Made famous in the movie Purple Rain you Should also know that my house I live on

6th Street which is two blocks from 4th Street as in positively 4 street so I Care very much about this issue I'm Particularly interested in the proposed Merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation Like many consumers I'd like to know Whether this merger will raise ticket Prices and whether the proposed merger Will make it harder for independent Concert agents to Market and promote Lesser known Artists at smaller venues testifying in Support of the merger at that February 24 2009 hearing Michael rapino then CEO Of Live Nation and now CEO of the Combined Ticketmaster Live Nation Company we have an opportunity Opportunity to create a truly modern Business by putting these companies Together something that we can't do Alone and certainly not quickly far from Harming consumers or promoters or Artists this deal will benefit them as As we spur competition and Innovation A System that empowers artists benefits Everyone because that's where the value Change starts Our business model Rises or falls on the Ability to service an artist if others Can do it better then the artist will go Elsewhere which is exactly what in 2022 Taylor Swift might be considering Ticketmaster was back in front of Congress almost exactly 11 years later a

February 26 2020 house hearing focusing On better transparency in the event Ticketing industry here is Republican Congressman from Kentucky Brett Guthrie Many Americans have very fond memories Of their first concert their first Football or baseball game I know I do I remember my first concert When I was 11 years old I got to see Elvis and I thanked what I remember About more than anything was the effort To get tickets to see Elvis my uncle had A dental office right next to the Facility and they rotated people going To waiting long lines and as they kept Adding shows we kept getting Opportunities to see of us so I had the Chance to do that but it's completely Changed now and I know as we have Everlasting memories of these concerts Purchasing tickets for Live Events can Be a difficult process for consumers And whether it's extra fees Transferability of tickets to step to White Label websites or speculative Tickets all of these issues can Negatively impact the consumer Experience Ticketmaster CEO then was Amy Howe who has since left the company as We like to say live only happens once Sounds simple but it helps remind our Team that for each fan we serve we have Only one chance to get it right We want The Fan Experience to be

Memorable and importantly simple safe And transparent we do our best every day To deliver on this promise and keep Ticketmaster free from the unethical and Illegal activities that hurt consumers The greatest challenge is simply supply And demand even in the world's biggest Venues events have limited capacity this Imbalance naturally causes Disappointment for fans who are unable To get tickets and unfortunately Opportunity for Bad actors to prosper Again sounds just like what happened to Millions of Taylor Swift fans who are Unable to get tickets which brings this Story to current time after the Taylor Swift ticket Fiasco the justice Department opened an Anti-Trust probe Into Live Nation and Senator Klobuchar Who you heard from in 2009 sent a letter To Ticketmaster CEO Mike overpino asking Him to respond to questions about Allegedly anti-competitive tactics by The company plus they announced hearing Finally we opened with Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan mentioning Taylor Swift during an oral argument we'll Close with another Supreme Court Justice And another Taylor Swift mention December 12 2016 the Shakespeare Theater Company is holding a mock trial of Friar Lawrence for the wrongful deaths of Romeo and Juliet and a suit brought by Their parents Elizabeth preliger

Assistant to the U.S attorney general is Playing the role of the attorney arguing For Friar Lawrence among the judges in The muck trial then U.S District Judge And now U.S Supreme Court Justice Katanji Brown Jackson I really think That friar Lawrence was in this for Himself he wanted to be the hero you Don't get many opportunities to save the Day and he was not throwing away his Shot so just tell me Tell me why isn't that something that we Should take into consideration well I Think his motives were entirely pure and Keep in mind that Romeo and Juliet came To him they they dragged him into this Mess and so he wasn't the one who was Really instigating this for his own Glory I think that that means that the Parents are really the proper focal Point of scrutiny here they're the ones Who bear responsibility for what Happened to Romeo well you mentioned the Taylor Swift song yes she wrote a song About love story but she also has Another song called Bad Blood Wasn't Friar Lawrence aware of the fact That we were in this situation no word If Taylor Swift would testify to Ticketmaster hearing if she did it would Be her first appearance on C-Span but as You've heard she's been mentioned on C-Span before which leads to this Episode's bonus clip April 27 2013 the

White House correspondence association Dinner here's President Barack Obama my Charm offensive has helped me learn some Interesting things about what's going on In Congress It turns out absolutely nothing But the point of my charm offensive is Simple we need to make progress on some Important issues Take the sequester Republicans fell in love with this thing And now they can't stop talking about How much they hate it it's like we're Trapped in a Taylor Swift album That's it for this episode of c-spans The weekly when Congress holds a Taylor Swift hearing after all this is an issue That's tailor-made for Swift action by Congress watch it on C-Span the New York Daily news editorial put it perfectly The dates and times for the U.S Senate Antitrust hearings on Ticketmaster have Yet to be announced when they are turn On C-Span and watch carefully this live Event is free Meantime here's another C-SPAN public Service that's free the C-SPAN video Library use it to search other issues Involving antitrust competitiveness Policies affecting the music industry Are simply your favorite musicians Just go to c-span.org and use the search Bar on top no registration required and No ticket required thanks for listening

And happy searching [Music] Foreign [Music]