NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti says he’s concerned about consumer complaints related to Ticketmaster’s presale of Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour concert tickets.
In a video press conference Wednesday, Skrmetti said he is launching an anti-trust investigation into Ticketmaster after his office received numerous complaints following Tuesday’s presale debacle. There have been no allegations of misconduct at the time, he said, but added it is his job to investigate consumer complaints.
“He and his Consumer Protection team will use every tool to ensure that no consumer protection laws were violated,” a media release from Skrmetti’s office said.
On Thursday, Ticketmaster announced it would be canceling Friday's general public sale, claiming there was an "insufficient remaining ticket inventory" following the presale.
"Ticketmaster's decision to cancel sales underscores the important need for accountability. Fans deserve a fair chance to buy a ticket. I’m encouraged by other state AGs who are taking this issue seriously as well," Skrmetti said.
The AG's office said its Consumer Protection Team is gathering facts, asking Tennesseans with relevant information to submit complaints to this link.
Skrmetti also released a new statement about the investigation. It is available below.
"While we hope legitimate fans will benefit from Ticketmaster's effort to provide a second chance at Taylor Swift tickets, this is a short-term solution for a long-term problem. The Tennessee Attorney General's Office remains focused on finding a more lasting solution to Ticketmaster’s ongoing issues. Our Consumer Protection team continues to review an onslaught of complaints and gather evidence. We are working hard to deliver lasting change and a fair ticket-buying experience for all consumers.”
Skrmetti said Wednesday the scope of his investigation would include figuring out what Ticketmaster promised customers and whether they delivered on the promise. Additionally, Skrmetti said he wants to investigate complaints regarding Ticketmaster’s alleged “severe lack of consumer support” during the concert ticket presale.
Skrmetti is also concerned about Ticketmaster profiting twice off the tickets. Ticketmaster sells the tickets but also facilitates resale. Some “scalpers” are reselling tickets through Ticketmaster for thousands of dollars, Skrmetti said.
“We want to make sure there are no issues here that merit legal response,” Skrmetti said.
Ticketmaster said Tuesday “unprecedented demand” had led to issues with its service as Taylor Swift fans flocked to its site for access to a presale.
In an update on Twitter, the ticket sales giant said millions had logged on. It asked people who were already in queues to “hang tight” as they process sales.
Many fans posted to social media after the presale ended expressing disappointment after not getting tickets despite waiting in a queue for hours.
Data from the University of Tennessee's Adam Brown Social Media Command Center showed fans' frustration.
Data from the University of Tennessee's Adam Brown Social Media Command Center showed fans' frustration. The hashtag "#ticketmaster" had the most negative sentiment attached to it, while "#ErasTour" received almost equal amounts of positive and negative sentiment.
Taylor Swift is set to perform in Nashville at Nissan Stadium May 5-8. Swift’s The Eras Tour begins in Glendale, Arizona on March 17.