More than two dozen Taylor Swift fans from 13 states are suing Ticketmaster after its “Eras Tour” ticketing debacle, which left many fans without tickets, while prices on the secondary market skyrocketed.
The complaint — filed on Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court of California, where Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation is located — alleges Ticketmaster violated the California Cartwright Act and the California Unfair Competition Law during its presale to “verified” fans on Nov. 15 and 16, as Deadline reports.
The 26 plaintiffs accuse Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. — Ticketmaster’s parent company — and Does 1 to 100, of “fraud, price-fixing, and antitrust violations” and of “intentional deception.”
“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.
Ticketmaster apologized to Swift and her fans in a statement released on Nov. 18, claiming it didn’t anticipate the flood of fans who would participate through the Verified Fan program.
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.