Ticketmaster apologizes to Taylor Swift and her fans for ticketing debacle
By Frank Pallotta, CNN Business
"We want to apologize to Taylor and all of her fans — especially those who had a terrible experience trying to purchase tickets," the ticketing site said in the blog post.
The company added that it strives to make ticket buying "as easy as possible," but that "hasn't been the case for many people trying to buy tickets" to Swift's tour, which kicks off March 17 and will have 52 concerts in multiple stadiums across the US over five months.
The company said that it is working to "shore up our tech for the new bar that has been set by demand" for her tour. "Once we get through that, if there are any next steps, updates will be shared accordingly," it wrote.
The mea culpa comes after Swift spoke out earlier on Friday about how the situation was "excruciating" for her to watch as it unfolded into chaos.
"I'm not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them, multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could," the singer wrote in an Instagram post on Friday afternoon. "It's truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them."
Swift added that she would try to "figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward."
Sales for the singer's new Eras Tour began Tuesday, but overwhelming demand snarled the ticketing site, infuriating countless fans who couldn't buy tickets. Customers complained on social media about Ticketmaster not loading, saying the platform didn't allow them to access tickets, even if they had a pre-sale code for verified fans.
On Thursday, Ticketmaster announced that the sale to the general public, scheduled to begin Friday, was canceled due to "extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand."
"To those who didn't get tickets, all I can say is that my hope is to provide more opportunities for us to get together and sing these songs," Swift said.
The Justice Department has launched an antitrust investigation into Live Nation, the owner of Ticketmaster, to look at whether the company has a monopoly in the market for concerts, including ticket purchasing, a source familiar with the matter tells CNN. The New York Times first reported the investigation Friday.
The Department of Justice has been contacting music venues and other ticket market participants in recent months, asking about Live Nation's practices and industry dynamics, the Times added.
Live Nation responded Saturday in a statement posted to its website, saying that it "takes its responsibilities under the antitrust laws seriously" and "does not engage in behaviors that could justify antitrust litigation, let alone orders that would require it to alter fundamental business practices."
"The Department of Justice itself recognized the competitive nature of the concert promotion business at the time of the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger," the company said in a statement. "That dynamic has not changed."
Live Nation added that the fact that Ticketmaster "continues to be the leader in such an environment is a testament to the platform and those who operate it, not to any anticompetitive business practices."
"We innovate and invest in our technology more than any other ticketing company, and we will continue to do so," the company wrote, noting that Ticketmaster is the "most transparent and fan-friendly ticketing system in the United States."
-- CNN's Evan Perez and Tierney Sneed contributed to this report
-- Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the number of stadiums Taylor Swift will be playing on her Eras Tour.
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