Ticketmaster can’t shake off its bad reputation after fumbling the presale for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, with more than two dozen of the singer’s fans filing a lawsuit accusing the company of violating antitrust laws and committing fraud.
The lawsuit, filed in a California court on Friday, accuses the company of an alleged breach of contract, specifically pointing to the “ticket sale disaster” that ensued in mid-November after Ticketmaster’s site crashed due to the high volume of users trying to purchase presale tickets. The overwhelming number of ticket sales caused the company to cancel its public ticket sale on Nov. 18 due to “insufficient remaining ticket inventory.”
“Millions of fans waited up to eight hours and were unable to purchase tickets as a result of insufficient ticket releases,” the lawsuit states. “Ticketmaster intentionally provided codes when it could not satisfy demands.”
The fans allege the company engaged in anti-competitive practices, enforcing higher prices for fans by forcing exclusive use of its website to purchase tickets to Swift’s Eras Tour, according to the lawsuit. Because Ticketmaster had predetermined agreements with the stadiums listed on Swift’s tours, the singer had “no choice” but to use the company, the suit alleges.
The lawsuit also accuses the company of purposely misleading fans by allowing “scalpers and bots” to access the presale that caused more codes to be distributed than the number of allotted tickets. The company then scheduled the general ticket sale “knowing they would not have the quantity necessary,” the suit states.
“We believe that both Taylor Swift and her fans were hurt by Ticketmaster,” said Jennifer Kinder, an attorney for the plaintiffs, in a statement. “Ticketmaster messed with the wrong fan base.”
Roughly 3.5 million fans registered for the tour’s presale that was set to open on Nov. 15, marking the largest registration in the company’s history. However, only 2.4 million tickets were able to be sold during the sale, and the general sale was subsequently canceled — leaving millions of fans disappointed.
“Even when a high demand onsale goes flawlessly from a tech perspective, many fans are left empty handed,” Ticketmaster wrote after the website crash. “We strive to make ticket buying as easy as possible for fans, but that hasn’t been the case for many people trying to buy tickets for Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour. First, we want to apologize to Taylor and all of her fans – especially those who had a terrible experience trying to purchase tickets.”
Swift responded to the ticket sale debacle on Nov. 18, noting she had “asked [Ticketmaster], multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could.”
“It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse,” Swift said. “It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.”
The lawsuit specifically accuses the company of committing an alleged breach of contract, intentional misrepresentation, fraud, fraudulent inducement, and several antitrust violations. The fans are seeking a penalty of $2,500 for each violation that occurred, which could quickly add up, considering there are millions of fans who were not able to secure tickets.
A spokesperson for Ticketmaster has not responded to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.