Taylor Swift fans are suing Live Nation Entertainment, alleging that its Ticketmaster subsidiary unlawfully sold tickets to the singer's upcoming tour to third-party resellers while leaving many preregistered "Verified Fans" unable to make a purchase despite hours of trying.
According to multiple outlets that have obtained copies of the 33-page lawsuit, which was submitted late Friday in Los Angeles, 26 plaintiffs nationwide accuse Live Nation of antitrust behavior, breach of contract, fraud and other violations of the California Cartwright Act and the California Unfair Competition Law.
“The policy and spirit of the California antitrust laws are to promote the free play of competitive market forces and the lower prices to consumers that result,” the lawsuit says. Ticketmaster, it alleges, imposed "agreements and policies at the retail and wholesale level that have prevented effective price competition across a wide swath of online ticket sales.”
The suit seeks a civil fine of $2,500 for each of the countless violations.
Angry Swift fans had stormed Ticketmaster's social media on Nov. 15 after high demand from ticket buyers who had preregistered on its site for the pop star's "Eras" tour experienced hourslong delays, frozen screens and other difficulties, while resellers obtained tickets and began offering them at highly marked-up prices.
“Millions of fans waited up to eight hours and were unable to purchase tickets,” the lawsuit says, contending that the concert-ticket monolith “intentionally and purposefully mislead[ing] ticket purchasers by allowing scalpers and bots access to TaylorSwiftTix presale."
Texas-based attorney Jennifer Kinder, who filed the lawsuit, is seeking additional complainants, posting on her firm's Instagram Friday, "Stay Mad Swifties," and offering contact information "if you want to join us in our fight for justice."
“They messed with the wrong fan base,” Kinder subsequently told The Washington Post.
Ticketmaster did not respond to Newsday requests for comment. The company on Nov. 18 apologized on social media "to Taylor and all of her fans — especially those who had a terrible experience trying to purchase tickets."
In the wake of the debacle, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bronx-Queens) have spoken out about what they call Ticketmaster's anticompetitive and monopolistic actions. Live Nation, long the subject of such accusations, was already the target of an investigation by the Department of Justice’s antitrust division, according to reports.