The Cure says Ticketmaster will issue refunds after fee complaints

The Cure frontman Robert Smith said Thursday that Ticketmaster will provide $5 and $10 refunds to fans who bought tickets for the band’s North American tour after the band complained to the company about the fees. students.

In recent months, Ticketmaster has come under increasing criticism from ticket buyers as well as members of Congress who have accused its owner, Live Nation Entertainment, of being a monopoly that stifles competition and harms fans.

Mr. Smith said on Twitter that Ticketmaster would provide the refunds. “Ticketmaster has agreed with us that many of the fees charged are unduly high,” he wrote.

Ticketmaster did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Smith said people who purchased the cheapest tickets would automatically receive a $10 refund per ticket and all other ticket buyers would receive a $5 refund. He said those refunds applied to people who purchased tickets as a “verified fan,” a Ticketmaster system that requires people to register for early access to ticket sales.

Fans who buy tickets during Friday’s general sale will “incur a lower fee”, he said.

This week on Twitter, Mr Smith addressed questions and concerns fans on buying tickets for the 30-show tour, which runs from May to July and includes three performances at New York’s Madison Square Garden in June.

The priest had said in an earlier statement that he wanted the tickets “to be affordable for all fans”. As part of this effort, Mr. Smith said that the Cure had refused to participate in Ticketmaster’s dynamic pricing system, which adjusts ticket prices based on demand.

The system came under fire last year after driving up the cost of Bruce Springsteen tickets, some of which sold for thousands of dollars.

After tickets for the Cure tour went on sale on Wednesday, fans shared screenshots showing tickets priced at $20 with additional fees near Or above the base price of $20.

Mr. Smith said on Twitter later that day that he was “sickened” by the Ticketmaster fee.

“I asked how they were justified,” he wrote in all caps, his usual writing style on Twitter. “If I get something coherent in response, I’ll let you know.”

Ticketmaster and Live Nation Entertainment have come under increased scrutiny since November, when the company botched its planned public ticket sale for Taylor Swift’s latest tour.

In November, the Justice Department opened an antitrust investigation into Live Nation Entertainment to determine whether it abused its power over the live music industry.

In December, 26 of Ms Swift’s fans filed a lawsuit accusing Live Nation Entertainment of anti-competitive conduct and fraud.

In January, the company was the subject of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in which senators from both sides criticized the company’s handling of ticket sales for Ms Swift’s tour as well as its business practices wider.

Last month, on the same day, Live Nation Entertainment announced that it earned $651.3 million in ticket revenue in the fourth quarter of 2022, the company responded to Politicians in a statement.

The company, which sold more than 550 million tickets last year, said it submitted more than 35 pages of information to policymakers to provide context on the “industry realities” it has dominated since Ticketmaster. and Live Nation, an event promoter and venue operator, merged in 2010.

“These include the fact that this industry is more competitive than ever: Ticketmaster has actually lost market share since the 2010 merger, not gained; that venues set and retain most of the fees associated with tickets and increasingly take a larger share of them; and Ticketmaster has been advocating for a federal blanket pricing requirement for years,” the statement read.

Ticketmaster and Live Nation Entertainment have been criticized for decades for their business practices. The Department of Justice said in 2019 that Live Nation Entertainment had “repeatedly violated” the terms of the regulatory agreement the government had imposed as a condition of the merger.

The Department of Justice investigated claims of anti-competitive practices by Ticketmaster in the 1990s, after a dispute with Seattle grunge band Pearl Jam.


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