AOC blames inflation on “monopoly power,” from Ticketmaster to groceries

New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed Ticketmaster in a new interview with Rolling Stonepushing inflation onto rising monopoly powers.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blames inflation on Monopoly Power
Above, Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York speaks at a hearing on gun violence June 8, 2022 in Washington, DC with a Ticketmaster ticket pictured on a cell phone in the upper right corner. Ocasio-Cortez slammed Ticketmaster, blaming “monopoly power” for inflation as the ticket broker is investigated over the Taylor Swift presale debacle.
Andrew Harnik-Pool/Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The ticketing hub has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks after sales for Taylor Swift’s upcoming 2023 Eras Tour turned into a ticketing nightmare. Verified fans who signed up for the presale were kept in queues online for hours, amid website crashes and “an historically unprecedented demand with millions of visitors coming to buy tickets,” according to Ticketmaster tweeted last week.

Fans were angered and calls for an investigation into Ticketmaster’s dealings were echoed by members of Congress, including Ocasio-Cortez, who died on March 15 [sic] The merger with LiveNation should never have been approved and they need to be governed [sic] in. Break ’em up.”

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched an official investigation to determine whether Live Nation Entertainment, a company that merged with Ticketmaster in 2010, abused its power over the live music industry, and Ocasio-Cortez reiterated that it supports the divestment of the Fusion.

In a recent interview with Rolling StoneThe New York Democrat said, “I’ve been watching what was going on with the pre-release of Taylor Swift’s tickets. It came up on a more personal level; I actually have quite a few staff trying to get tickets that day. Seeing your experience and seeing all the people talking about it online, I think it really showed how widespread the problem is and reflects the level of market consolidation in this industry.”

With her work on the Special Committee on Economic Inequality, Ocasio-Cortez said, “One of the things we’re starting to see is that these price increases due to inflation and abuse of market power are due to market consolidation. It’s gotten so bad that we really see it affecting our daily lives, from the amount we pay at grocery stores to being unable to see our favorite artists without paying an arm and a leg.

While Ticketmaster’s purchasing system made it extremely difficult for many fans to get tickets last week, others who were able to purchase tickets to see Swift reported unprecedented prices. Some fans even joked that renting Swift’s townhouse on Cornelia Street in Greenwich Village, Manhattan for $45,000 a month would be cheaper than buying two tickets, especially when sites like StubHub sell tickets for over $76,000 have listed.

“Between the prices and the fees, every single person who has bought tickets in the last 10 years has seen how much worse this has gotten,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “I support the reversal of this merger. I don’t think it should have been approved at all. I hope the DOJ’s investigation will uncover the seriousness of the abuse of market share and power, and how it has played a role in the prices that everyday consumers see.”

news week has reached out to a representative from AOC and Ticketmaster for comment. AOC blames inflation on “monopoly power,” from Ticketmaster to groceries

Rick Schindler

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