Taylor Swift-Ticketmaster fiasco has fans comparing it to Pearl Jam’s antitrust complaint: ‘Finishing the job’

Pearl Jam became a trending topic on Thursday after Ticketmaster canceled the public sale of Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” following high demand in the pre-sales.

In 1994, Pearl Jam had filed a complaint against Ticketmaster, alleging anticompetitive and monopoly practices. The Justice Department ultimately declined to bring an antitrust case against the company.

At the time, Ticketmaster had sold 55 million tickets for an estimated $1.6 billion. Tea rock band claimed the company priced tickets too high for their teenage fans.

In a two-sentence statement, the Justice Department said it had informed the parent company, Ticketmaster Holdings Group Inc., that “it is closing its antitrust investigation into that firm’s contracting practices.″ There was no lawsuit filed, so the case was over at that point. However, the antitrust division warned industry participants that the government “will continue to monitor competitive developments in the ticketing industry.″


Pearl Jam filed an antitrust complaint against Ticketmaster in 1994.

Pearl Jam filed an antitrust complaint against Ticketmaster in 1994.
(Getty Images)

Fast-forward to Thursday, Ticketmaster is again facing ticketing issues.

Greg Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media, opened up about the ticket fiasco during an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Steet.” Verified fans were given codes to enter the Ticketmaster pre-sale on Tuesday, but many claimed their codes did not work.


“It’s a function of Taylor Swift. The site was supposed to open up for 1.5 million verified Taylor Swift fans,” Maffei said. “We had 14 million people hit the site, including bots, which are not supposed to be there.”

The request “could have filled 900 stadiums,” he said.

Fans on Twitter quickly compared the issues Pearl Jam had with Ticketmaster to Swift’s current situation.

“Remember when nobody paid attention to what Pearl Jam was trying to say about Ticketmaster? And they were arguing against extra fees upwards of $3.50. 30 years later they’ve fully monopolized and now people all of a sudden want to go to battle. Only because of Taylor Swift…” one user wrote.

Another added, “Taylor Swift fans finally killing Ticketmaster and finishing the job Pearl Jam started nearly 30 years ago demonstrates the potential of intergenerational cooperation against those that abuse power.”

“@taylorswift13 can you and @PearlJam hop on a quick Zoom call?” another joked.

Ticketmaster has canceled the public sale of Taylor Swift's "The Eras Tour" after high demand in the pre-sales.

Ticketmaster has canceled the public sale of Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” after high demand in the pre-sales.
(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Fox News Digital has reached out to Pearl Jam for comment.

In the 90s, Ticketmaster spokesperson Larry Solters shared a statement with The Associated Press that the Justice Department’s ruling proved that the company does not manipulate the cost of concert tickets sold through their website.


“Its investigation, which was … exploited by self-serving special interest groups, demonstrates that these claims have no merit,” Solters said. “Ticketmaster does not set ticket prices or determine touring schedules. We simply provide consumers with a convenient way of buying tickets.”

In June 1995, Pearl Jam launched their first tour without the help of Ticketmaster, but were unable to perform at any arenas or venues controlled by the company.

Pearl Jam launched their own tour without the help of Ticketmaster in 1995.

Pearl Jam launched their own tour without the help of Ticketmaster in 1995.
(Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)


Although Pearl Jam was able to put together a tour, Ray Garman, who was the president of Fillmore Mercantile Bank of Philadelphia and financed the tour, said, “the venues we played were out of the way and not the normal venues a band of Pearl Jam’s stature would play. Competition does not exist in the large venues which are necessary for the economics of a live touring band to work.”

Now, nearly 20 years later, Tennesee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti has launched an investigation into Ticketmaster due to the amount of issues raised by customers throughout the Swift pre-sales.

“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,” his office tweeted Wednesday.

Fox News Digital’s Lauryn Overhultz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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