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Ticketmaster CEO apologizes for Taylor Swift concert ticket debacle, blames bots and cyberattack

CA, 25 Jan 2023
U.S. senators slammed Live Nation Entertainment's lack of transparency and inability to block bot purchases of tickets on Tuesday, in a hearing called after a major fiasco involving ticket sales for Taylor Swift's upcoming concert tour.

"We apologize to the fans, we apologize to Ms. Swift, we need to do better and we will do better," Joe Berchtold, president and chief financial officer of Live Nation, told a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday.

Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn called Live Nation's bot problem "unbelievable," pointing out that much smaller companies are able to limit bad actors in their systems.

Jack Groetzinger, the CEO of SeatGeek, also testified. Groetzinger said there's not enough competition in ticketing and said venues fear not working with Live Nation concerts and events if they don't use Ticketmaster, even if they don't like the platform.

During his testimony, Clyde Lawrence, a singer-songwriter for the band Lawrence, said musicians are also surprised by the price of tickets because they don't get to decide the final cost. Lawrence said Ticketmaster controls fees that fans have to pay, as well as how much it gets to charge artists for playing at certain venues.

Lawrence went on to testify that artists don't usually know how much fans are paying for tickets until they look up the prices on the Ticketmaster website themselves.

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