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Senate hearing on Live Nation-Ticketmaster’s ticket sales, marketing continues

Yahoo Finance media correspondent Allie Canal joins the Live show to highlight several of the biggest takeaways argued in the Senate hearing addressing Ticketmaster's marketing practices tied to the frenzy surrounding Taylor Swift's latest concert sales.

Video Transcript

[AUDIO LOGO]

- Taylor Swift's next album ought to be entitled "Fiasco," or perhaps "Debacle," just a few words that describe what happened when millions of Americans were left outraged and without tickets to upcoming tour when Ticketmaster-Live Nation couldn't handle the demand that fiasco, the subject in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this afternoon, something Senator Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut said accomplished the impossible. Listen.

RICHARD BLUMENTHAL: Mr. Berchtold, I want to congratulate and thank you for an absolutely stunning achievement. You have brought together Republicans and Democrats in an absolutely unified cause. And the fact of the matter is that Live Nation Ticketmaster is the 800-pound gorilla here.

- "The 800 pounds gorilla the unified Democrats and Republicans," ain't that poetic from Blumenthal? Allie Canal now here with the latest from Capitol Hill. That was a pretty good sizzle there from Blumenthal. What else happened today?

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Yeah, and I think the general consensus from both witnesses and senators is that, yes, Ticketmaster-Live Nation is a monopoly. It is stifling competition, stifling innovation. We heard directly from Live Nation CFO, Joe Berchtold, who did maintain that the Taylor Swift debacle was largely due to increased bot attacks. That excuse was highly criticized throughout the entire hearing. Here's what one witness, Jerry Mickelson, CEO and President of JAM Productions, had to say in response.

JERRY MICKELSON: So whether it's said or not, it's implied that if I don't use Ticketmaster, I am not going to get all the shows that I would like to have.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: And he had said that the bot attacks that-- that doesn't make any sense. If you're a company like Live Nation, like Ticketmaster that you should be able to handle bots. And just to rewind this here, Live Nation, Ticketmaster, they merged in 2010. Since that time, there have been repeated calls to break them up since Ticketmaster in some cases operates as a three-business entity in some cases. It is the promoter, the venue operator, the ticketing provider.

And as the hearing went on, there did seem to be a lack of clarity and a lack of transparency around certain processes, for example, who sets those service fees. And that's something that's really important for not just competitors to understand, but fans as well. So a developing story, whether or not this leads to actual change, I don't know because of breakup of Ticketmaster and Live Nation. That's going to be very, very complicated.