Tennessee AG investigating Ticketmaster after Taylor Swift ticket chaos

Chantal Da Silva
Taylor Swift performs at the 2019 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, November 24, 2019.
Mario Anzuoni | Reuters

Tennessee's attorney general said he is launching an investigation into Ticketmaster after his office was flooded with complaints over the ticket company's website crashing Tuesday as Taylor Swift fans raced to buy tickets for her upcoming "Eras" tour.

Ticketmaster's homepage was temporarily knocked offline after Swift fans, known as "Swifties," flooded the site determined to snag tickets to the "Blank Space" singer's first tour since before the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti is concerned about consumer complaints related to @Ticketmaster. He and his Consumer Protection team will use every available tool to ensure that no consumer protection laws were violated," Skrmetti's office said in a tweet Wednesday.

Speaking at a news conference Wednesday, Jonathan Skrmetti said he was launching an anti-trust probe into Ticketmaster after the presale debacle prompted widespread frustration, NBC affiliate WSMV, based in Nashville, reported.

Skrmetti said no direct allegations of misconduct had been made against Ticketmaster, but he said it was his job to investigate consumer complaints.

"If it's a consumer protection violation and we can find exactly where the problems are, we can get a court order that makes the company do better. That makes sure the problems that happened yesterday don't happen again," Skrmetti said, according to WSMV. "If it's not a consumer protection (violation), but it's an anti-trust law that is violated, there is a wide range of options that are available."

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Skrmetti said his investigation would include determining what Ticketmaster had promised customers and whether the company delivered on its promise.

The attorney general said he also had concerns about Ticketmaster profiting twice off ticket sales, with the website also facilitating ticket resales.

"There is an incentive there for the company to profit twice off the sale of these ticket," he said, according to WSMV. "I am not saying it happened, but we are going to make absolutely sure it didn't." Skrmetti's office did not respond to a request early Thursday from NBC News for further comment.

Ticketmaster did not immediately respond to a request early Thursday for comment from NBC News.

In a statement posted to Twitter on Tuesday, the company said the presale ticket crash happened after its website saw a "historically unprecedented demand with millions showing up to buy tickets for the TaylorSwiftTix Presale."

Swift's 2023 U.S. tour, which launches in March in Arizona and ends in August in Los Angeles, has 52 concert dates, with Swift recently adding 17 dates to the original tour announcement.