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Ticketmaster inspired Swifties in the anti-monopoly movement

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The antimonopoly movement is growing. Gone are the days when rogue market dominance was associated with Standard Oil or Carnegie Steel, the insolence of Bill Gates during statements, or what it feels like to mortgage the Marvin Gardens because you ended up in the Hotel at Park Place.

As Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Leena Khan said five years ago in her seminal work, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” our government’s outdated enforcement standards are “failing.”[ed] To record “monopoly loss”. Since then, millions of Americans have become aware of the sinister power of monopolies in our economy – and the exciting political opportunities to rein them in.

Last week, a legion of new anti-monopolists was born. He has tremendous game-changing potential: astute social media skills, undying loyalty, and encyclopedic knowledge. They’re superfans of Taylor Swift – and that could be why the government cracked down on Ticketmaster.

Swiftie – as Swift’s stan is affectionately known – experienced the destructive power of the live event and monopoly on ticket sales. Millions of fans waited in endless e-queues hoping to get their hands on pre-sale tickets for their favorite pop star’s upcoming tour, only to be hit with skyrocketing ticket prices and exorbitant fees – if they managed to get their hands on the ticket.

“Ticket prices can fluctuate at any time,” read an ominous warning on Ticketmaster’s website. And they did: Because of their “dynamic pricing” system, which limits ticket prices to the maximum market rate, fans have reported buying tickets for thousands of dollars, not including the hefty fees, and prices on the secondary resale market. increased even more. For example, on StubHub, ticket listings reached over $95,000.

In the end, the ticketmaster threw in the towel and Cancelled Later presale window. His site crashed thousands of times. It was an absolute catastrophe – and fans had no choice but to accept it, the kind of indecent customer experience that would only create an unmanageable monopoly.

Ultimately, Swifties get results.

Hours after Taylor Swift issued a statement apologizing to fans for the pre-sales glitch and berating Ticketmaster for incompetently handling the demand, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it had ordered sales of the album, marketed by Live Nation Entertainment, to the public. An investigation has been launched into abuse of power. when they were out of work inspired to By Swift, David McCabe and Ben Sisario came forward New York Times, Swifty’s wave of dissatisfaction was strong enough to warrant disclosure by the department. Immediately, when the company boasted of a record-breaking 2022 (“profit” from “fee tickets”), the stock plummeted.

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How do we get here? When it comes to antitrust issues, the US government is essentially sleeping in the driver’s seat, allowing Ticketmaster’s monopoly to crush competition for more than a decade.

as bottleneck capitalism Author Cory Doctorow explained more perfect unionTicketmaster’s dominant control of the live show ticket market had a natural client in Live Nation’s concert promotion business, which managed an impressive portfolio of major artists and live music venues.

In 2010, the two entities merged to form Live Nation Entertainment to quell their rivalry — a process orchestrated by the Obama administration’s consolidation-friendly Justice Department. company used to be Subject to a relatively weak consent decree, which asked the merged companies not to use their dominance in live venues to expand their ticketing capacity. But it has since become easier for him to intimidate those who say no and ignore the guidelines.

Simply put, the merger created a monster, subordinating all aspects of the live event lifecycle from ticket acquisition to fulfillment.

Doctorow concluded, “Ticketmaster bullying venues is not cooperating with its competitors.” “They bully smaller artists by denying them management. They bully bigger artists by controlling ticket prices and undermining their fans. And they bully their customers into paying exorbitant prices for tickets, not only by using resellers, but also by charging a hefty fee for every ticket sold by those resellers.

Even Swift, an aspiring billionaire and private jet user, has no choice but to kneel before the ticket monopoly, which is often an exclusive partner at her big favorite locations.

Greg Maffei, chairman of Monopoly’s parent group — and head of Liberty Media, a media conglomerate with Republican ties — blames Taylor’s popularity for his short tenure. “Ticketmaster will twist every position to protect its market power in live events,” noted American project for economic freedoms. (Time to mention that Apology raked in $47 million from Liberty Media in 2021 and is personally worth hundreds of millions, just like Swift herself.)

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Rising ticket prices are not entirely the artist’s fault due to their popularity. Even though Taylor Swift’s music is of the money-printing, monocultural kind—one that encourages “dynamic pricing” to the highest degree—she is still an activist, exploited and obligated by an overarching system., Since Live Nation and Ticketmaster can force artists to work with them and significantly reduce their selling and resale costs, less popular or well-equipped artists with no other sources of income could be targeted by the business model. is disadvantaged in some way.

Doctorow said, “Companies maximize capital from artists’ labor, and they no longer share it.”

Ticketmaster’s volatile market dominance has long been known. Prior to the Taylor Swift fiasco, a coalition of investigative organizations and artist collective launched the Break Up Ticketmaster campaign – asking the DOJ to “investigate and relax” the monopoly of live events. The campaign quickly gained ground, generating thousands of signatures on the advocacy letter.

Pro-breakup lawmakers also used the news cycle to call on the Justice Department to investigate the offending ticket monopoly.

“Consumers deserve better than this anti-hero behavior”, tweeted Senator Richard Blumenthal performs a song from Swift’s latest album, Midnight.

and further msnbcSenate Antitrust Committee Chair Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) promised Senate hearings on Ticketmaster’s market power and insufficient consent decision next year. He showed political interest in the “putsch”.[ting] Taylor Swift fans are in disbelief “as their ticketing experience” was a story of a monopoly gone haywire. His bill, along with Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Mike Lee (R-UT), aims to ease antitrust enforcement with new rules for state filing, funding and empowerment.

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State lawmakers also took the opportunity to criticize the consolidation. Eventually, Swifties spread across the country and across party lines. Attorney General of Tennessee House For “angry Swifties” – launched an investigation into Ticketmaster’s misconduct. and in New York, Senator Mike Gianaris attention demanded for his 21st Century Anti-Trust Act, which would “hold [Ticketmaster] Responsible for manipulating the ticket market, bleeding concert goers to death.

For his part, President Biden recently directed his administration to cut Ticketmaster’s notorious additional fees, such as junk fees, which are sometimes disgusting Up to 78 percent of the ticket price. And he has appointed a number of top antitrust enforcers — such as New Brunswick icon and FTC chair Leena Khan, DOJ antitrust chief Jonathan Cantor and former economic adviser Tim Wu — to undermine Robert Bork’s defunct “consumer welfare standard.” Dedicated, who take the state on the shovel. Merger Guidelines and Disciplining the Appropriateness of Monopolistic Harm in Today’s Economy. Biden also signed a highly competitive executive order in his first months in the Oval Office.

Presidential paradigm shifts are not coming soon enough. Monopolies don’t just screw up our economy or our political processes. they can peel everything For parts – even our art and culture, cornerstones of a democratic society that clearly need to be protected from the invaders of greedy corporations.

Swifty understands this. And they experience the tyranny of monopoly across the board – through the high price of a cramped seat on the plane home from college, the impossibility of a solid career in journalism, their sky-high monthly rents, or their tiny E. Marginalized – trading company.

So, the monopolists of today, strengthen yourself and remember: if you scold a superfan, they will come after you.

This piece is reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Source: truthout.org

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