Swifties just found themselves in an unlikely ally in the form of The Cure's Robert Smith in the war against Ticketmaster, and he's not mincing any words.
Smith took to Twitter to address fans' complaints about being hit with excessive fees while trying to buy tickets to The Cure's upcoming tour through Ticketmaster's Verified Fan program. “I am as sickened as you all are by today’s Ticketmaster ‘fees’ debacle,” Smith tweeted out in all caps. “To be very clear: The artist has no way to limit them. I have been asking how they are justified. If I get anything coherent by way of an answer I will let you all know.”
Smith had previously spoken out about the band's decision to go with Ticketmaster's system as part of a larger effort to crack down on scalpers and make sure more fans were able to buy tickets at face value, but made it a point to say that they would be opting out of the company's dynamic pricing, calling their "Platinum" tickets a "greedy scam." The program had previously enraged fans of both Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen for causing tickets prices to surge by thousands of dollars, sparking protests over the exorbitant amount of hidden mandatory fees the company had been charging.
The Cure debacle has been only the latest in a long line of controversies for Ticketmaster over questionable business tactics. The company is currently the subject of multiple lawsuits, the subject of a major fraud investigation by Mexican authorities after thousands of fans that had been sold fake tickets were turned away from a Bad Bunny concert and is currently facing a Senate hearing over the shady practices.
Ticketmaster and Live Nation's parent company Live Nation Entertainment is also the subject of a separate antitrust investigation by the Justice Department for abuse of power. The two companies were previously the subject of a prior investigation that found they had held a monopoly on the live music industry, repeatedly violating a ten-year consent decree they had signed as a part of the merger.
The White House is currently exploring ways to lessen Live Nation Entertainment's stranglehold on the industry, looking to introduce the Junk Fee Protection Act as a way to “prohibit excessive fees, require the fees to be disclosed in the ticket price, and mandate disclosure of any ticket holdbacks that diminish available supply.”
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