New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticizes Ticketmaster in new interview A rolling stoneblaming the inflation of rising monopoly powers.

Above, Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York speaks at the gun violence hearing on June 8, 2022, in Washington, D.C., with a ticket from Ticketmaster presented on her mobile phone in the upper right corner. Ocasio-Cortez has heavily criticized Ticketmaster and blamed “monopoly power” for inflation as the ticket broker is under scrutiny over the Taylor Swift pre-order fiasco.
Andrew Harnik-Pool/Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The ticketing hub has come under intense scrutiny over the past few weeks after sales of Taylor Swift’s upcoming 2023 Eras Tour turned into a ticketing nightmare. Verified fans who pre-ordered queued for hours online due to website downtime and “historically unprecedented demand with millions of people showing up to buy tickets,” Ticketmaster tweeted last week.

Fans were angered, and calls for an investigation into Ticketmaster’s activities were echoed by members of Congress, including Ocasio-Cortez, who tweeted on November 15: “A daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly is [sic] the merger with LiveNation should never have been approved and they need to be governed [sic] in. Break them.”

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched an official investigation to determine whether Live Nation Entertainment, the company that merged with Ticketmaster in 2010, abused its power over the live music industry, and Ocasio-Cortez has confirmed that it supports unraveling the merger.

In a recent interview with A rolling stoneThe New York Democrat said: “I’ve been watching what happens with Taylor Swift pre-sale tickets. It got to a more personal level; actually I have quite a few employees trying to get tickets that day. Between seeing their experience and seeing all the people talking about it online, I think it really showed how widespread the problem is and reflects the degree of market consolidation in this industry.”

Working on the Special Committee on Economic Inequality, Ocasio-Cortez said: “One of the things we are seeing more and more is that these price increases due to inflation and abuse of market power are due to market consolidation. It’s gotten so bad that we’re really seeing how it affects our daily lives, from how much we pay at the grocery stores to not being able to see our favorite artists without paying an arm and a leg.”

While Ticketmaster’s purchasing system made tickets extremely difficult for many fans last week, others who were able to buy tickets to see Swift saw unprecedented prices. Some fans even joked that it would be cheaper to rent a Swift’s Cornelia Street townhouse in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village for $45,000 a month than to buy two tickets, especially when sites like StubHub have seen tickets for over $76,000.

“Between prices and fees, every single person who has bought tickets in the last 10 years has seen the situation get worse,” continued Ocasio-Cortez. “I support the termination of this merger. I don’t believe it should have been approved in the first place. I hope the Justice Department’s investigation will reveal how serious the abuse of market share and power is and how it has played a role in the prices that ordinary consumers see.”

Newsweek contacted a representative from AOC and Ticketmaster for comment.

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