Earlier this month, fans filed a lawsuit alleging that the ticketing company engaged in “fraud, price-fixing, and antitrust violations,” and, now, a second lawsuit (obtained by Pitchfork) has been filed. In the latter federal class action lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday (December 20), the group alleges that Ticketmaster violated antitrust laws, and participated in anticompetitive and misleading conduct.
“Ticketmaster intentionally and purposefully misled millions of fans into believing it would prevent bots and scalpers from participating in the presales,” the lawsuit says. “However, millions of fans were unable to purchase tickets during the TaylorSwiftTix Presale and the Capital One Presale, due in large part to unprecedented website traffic caused by Ticketmaster allowing 14 million unverified Ticketmaster users and a ‘staggering’ number of bots to participate in the presales.”
In addition to the antitrust violations, the 26 plaintiffs also allege that Ticketmaster (and its parent company, Live Nation Entertainment, Inc.) engaged in fraud, price fixing, false advertising, and “intentional misrepresentation,” among other allegations.
“By allowing primary ticket purchasers to resell tickets during the TaylorSwiftTix Presale, Ticketmaster represented that these tickets were being sold according to the face value prices negotiated by Taylor Swift Management when they were not,” the lawsuit reads.
Plaintiffs are seeking a civil fine of $2,500 per violation, in addition to coverage of the costs of attorneys’ fees and other legal fees.
Following the previous lawsuit, Ticketmaster took to social media to address the incident. “We want to apologize to Taylor and all of her fans—especially those who had a terrible experience trying to purchase tickets,” the company tweeted. “We feel we owe it to everyone to share some information to help explain what happened.” The statement included a link to a page on their website, which explained the circumstances that led to the cancellation.
The United States Department of Justice has also taken interest in Ticketmaster’s alleged anticompetitive behavior. In November, The New York Times reported that an antitrust investigation had been opened, and “is focused on whether Live Nation Entertainment has abused its power over the multibillion-dollar live music industry.” The decision to open the investigation precedes the Eras Tour presale.