A federal class action lawsuit has been filed against Ticketmaster and Live Nation following Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour” ticketing debacle. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, alleges that the ticketing company violated federal antitrust laws and unfair competition laws, and that they misled consumers in the sale of tickets for Swift’s tour.
“Ticketmaster intentionally and purposefully misled millions of fans into believing it would prevent bots and scalpers from participating in the presales,” that lawsuit, obtained by Rolling Stone, claims. “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.”
The new federal lawsuit follows a California suit submitted earlier this month in Los Angeles County District Court in California, where Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation is located. The complaint, obtained by Rolling Stone, alleges Ticketmaster violated the California Cartwright Act and the California Unfair Competition Law during its presale to “verified” fans on Nov. 15 and 16. Both the federal suit and California filing allege similar misdoings.
The 26 plaintiffs accuse Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. — Ticketmaster’s parent company — of fraud, price fixing, and antitrust violations, and “intentional misrepresentation,” among other allegations.
“Millions of fans waited up to eight hours and were unable to purchase tickets,” the complaint reads. It accuses the ticket giant of “intentionally and purposefully mislead[ing] ticket purchasers by allowing scalpers and bots access to TaylorSwiftTix presale,” the complaint states.
In addition to Ticketmaster controlling the primary ticket market, the suit alleges its expansion into the secondary ticket market along with the company’s agreements with stadiums “force fans to buy more expensive tickets that Ticketmaster gets additional fees from every time the tickets are resold.”
Ticketmaster did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment.
The suit also accused the company of “intentionally provid[ing] codes when it could not satisfy ticket demand,” an issue Swift herself confronted following the ticketing chaos. “I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them, multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could,” Swift wrote following the presale fiasco and subsequent general ticket on-sale cancellation.
The new complaint seeks a civil fine of $2,500 per violation, alongside plaintiffs seeking the costs of attorneys’ fees, and any additional relief the court deems.
Earlier this week amid the fallout over the Swift on-sale, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Marsha Blackburn asked the Federal Trade Commission to explain why it hasn’t cracked down more on ticket-buying bots. Meanwhile, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have both raised concerns over Live Nation Entertainment’s alleged monopoly, while it was also reported that the Department of Justice’s antitrust division had launched an investigation into Live Nation even before the Swift on-sale.
This post was updated on Dec. 22 at 3:45 pm with information on lawsuit submission information and a new federal class action lawsuit against Ticketmaster.