Millions of fans of Taylor Swift were left crestfallen after trying in vain to purchase tickets for the star's upcoming tour on a barely functional Ticketmaster website.
New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is determined to not let the ticketing giant get away with it.
After the company's website repeatedly failed when fans tried to nab tickets only for those tickets to later appear at five-figure mark-ups on ticket reseller websites, Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to call-out the company and its recent merger with concert promoter LiveNation.
In her tweet, Ocasio-Cortez called the newly merged company a "monopoly" and called for them to be "reigned in."
"Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, it’s merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in."
"Break them up."
The Taylor Swift fiasco occurred during a presale event for Swift's tour in which fans had to pre-register for an opportunity to purchase tickets first.
Despite the registration process involved and the company knowing in advance exactly how many people would be logging on to purchase tickets, scores of fans were met with error messages and failed purchases.
Anti-monopoly advocates have long accused Ticketmaster of being an illegal monopoly, as it has been nearly the only available ticketing service for major concert tours for decades. Rock band Pearl Jam famously testified before Congress about the issue all the way back in 1995.
But its stranglehold on ticketing has become particularly pronounced in recent years, during which it has begun charging ever higher fees and subjecting customer to "dynamic pricing"--algorithms that adjust ticket prices according to demand, often resulting in ticket prices that soar into the five-digits.
Many of the company's procedures are illegal in other countries.
Ocasio-Cortez isn't the only one calling for the company's break-up. A coalition of activist groups called Break Up Ticketmaster has begun circulating a petition about the matter.
In the wake of the Swift debacle, the American Economic Liberties Project, one of several groups in the coalition, described the situation in a tweet:
“Since Ticketmaster has a monopoly over live events, they’re able to get away with running an awful website, turbocharging fees, and more — because where else are fans going to go?”
On Twitter, many applauding AOC for speaking out about the situation.
Swift's "Eras Tour" kicks off in Glendale, Arizona in March. A Ticketmaster spokesperson reported that the pre-sale debacle was “the biggest on-sale in history."