STORY: Fans of pop star Taylor Swift rallied outside a Los Angeles court building on Monday - as a hearing for their lawsuit against Ticketmaster and Live Nation got underway.
The 'Swifties’, as fans of the singer call themselves, filed the suit after the Ticketmaster site crashed during sales of Swift’s latest tour - because of traffic not only from fans but also bots and scalpers.
The fans accuse Ticketmaster and Live Nation of eliminating market competition and overcharging fans because the two merged into one company in 2010.
There are 340 plaintiffs in the case.
Among them, Penny Harrison and Laura Watson.
“I mean, I tried to get a Taylor Swift ticket. It was $750. Then you had the fees on top of it and at this point, I'm paying 2,400 dollars for three tickets. It's crazy the amount. A typical 18- year-old cannot afford that, right? Nobody's. They're just outpriced.”
“Why should they have such a monopoly over everything? Why do they get to control absolutely everything? Who gets to sell the tickets, own the stadiums, do the promotions? It's just crazy. I don't understand. So regulate them? I don't know. I would love for them to be broken up. When they did the merger, they said they were going to have to do agreements with that and be some sort of regulations. The only thing I see is that they just keep paying the fines, starting over.”
Lead counsel John Genga says the next step in the case is to determine arbitration – whether or not it all gets settled out of court... antitrust cases within U.S. court expose a company to the possibility of much higher damages.
Last year, Taylor Swift herself expressed anger over the ticket debacle, saying she was “not going to make excuses for anyone” because the ticket seller assured her team that it could handle a surge in demand.
Ticketmaster said it worked quickly to resolve technical problems.
The company has denied any anti-competitive practices.