Ticketmaster takes heat from senators, witnesses over its power

Ticketmaster defended its online market power in the digital ticketing space at a packed — and unusually unified — Senate Judiciary hearing Tuesday, after months of increased scrutiny following a chaotic sale of tickets to Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour.


The company has long been a target of lawmakers after its 2010 merger with Live Nation, but sparks started to fly after the messy rollout and ultimate cancellation of the public sale to the pop star’s nationwide tour.


The hearing kicked off the committee’s activity for the year with rare bipartisan unity — and may offer hope for lawmakers looking to revamp antitrust law.


Senators on both sides of the aisle grilled Live Nation Entertainment’s president and chief financial officer, Joe Berchtold, over the company’s claim that there is more competition today than 13 years ago and that bots were to blame for the debacle.