In a New Lawsuit, Taylor Swift Supporters are Accusing Ticketmaster of Unfair Business Practices

26 Swifties are suing Ticketmaster for deceiving those with presale codes and "intentionally and consciously" allowing bots and scalpers to get tickets.
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26 Swifties are suing Ticketmaster for deceiving those with presale codes and "intentionally and consciously" allowing bots and scalpers to get tickets.

Ticketmaster is being sued by a group of Taylor Swift supporters who claim that the corporation engaged in "anticompetitive activity" that caused problems with the Eras Tour ticket sales.

After Ticketmaster crashed during the original "verified fan" presale last month, millions of Swifties were unable to purchase tickets for the artist's eagerly anticipated tour. In addition to spending hours in line on the website, those who were given the exclusive presale codes frequently received error messages that falsely claimed their tickets were invalid. After then, Ticketmaster decided to call off the public auction, citing "insufficient remaining ticket inventory" to satisfy demand.

In a lawsuit filed on Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, 26 plaintiffs accuse Ticketmaster of "intentionally and purposefully" enabling the purchase of tickets by scalpers and automated systems, many of which were then immediately put up for resale at prices that were double or even triple their original cost.

According to the lawsuit, which Deadline was able to receive, Ticketmaster operates its own secondary market, which gives it the opportunity to profit even more from scalped tickets.

In the lawsuit, it is claimed that "Ticketmaster was happy to permit this arrangement, as Ticketmaster receives paid again in additional fees every time a ticket is resold."

In the case, Ticketmaster is also charged with deceiving presale-code holders by sending an excessive number of codes "when it could not satisfy demands."

The lawsuit claims that there weren't enough ticket releases, which resulted in "millions of fans waiting up to eight hours and being unable to acquire tickets."

The lawsuit claims that Ticketmaster faces little competition because it has such a large market share under control.

The lawsuit claims that "Ticketmaster does not charge exorbitant charges to deliver a superior service." "It charges higher costs because it has little to no competition and wants to extort as much money from customers as it can."

Since the November ticketing debacle, Ticketmaster has come under increasing fire, with some claiming that the company's 2010 acquisition with Live Nation broke antitrust rules. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, a Democrat, referred to Ticketmaster as a "monopoly" that has to "be [reined] in," and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, a Democrat, said that the Senate would hold a hearing on the subject. An investigation was also started by the Department of Justice.

The complaint describes Ticketmaster as "a monopoly that is exclusively interested in extracting every dollar it can from a captive audience," echoing prior criticisms.

In addition to seeking attorney fees, the complaint seeks fan damages. It mentions that a $2,500 fine is imposed for every infraction of the legislation against unfair commercial practices in California.

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