HomeBusinessThe Cure says Ticketmaster will issue refunds after fee complaints

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 purchased tickets for the band’s North American tour after the band complained to the company about high fees.

In recent months, Ticketmaster has faced increasing criticism from ticket buyers as well as from members of congress who accused its owner, Live Nation Entertainment, of being a monopoly that hinders competition and harms fans.

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

Ticketmaster did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Smith said that people who had purchased the lowest priced tickets would automatically receive a $10 rebate per ticket and all other ticket buyers would receive a $5 rebate. He said these refunds applied to people who had purchased tickets as a “verified fan,” a Ticketmaster system that requires people to sign up for early access to ticket sales.

Fans who purchase tickets during Friday’s general sale “will incur lower fees.” he said.

This week on Twitter, Mr. Smith addressed questions and worries from fans about purchasing 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 cure had said in a previous statement that he wanted 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 price which adjusts ticket prices based on demand.

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

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

Mr. Smith he said on Twitter later that day that he was “grossed out” by Ticketmaster’s fees.

“I have been asking how they are justified,” he wrote in all caps, his usual Twitter writing style. “If I get something coherent by way of response, I’ll let everyone know.”

Ticketmaster and Live Nation Entertainment have come under increased scrutiny since November, when the company botched its planned public sale of tickets for the last tour of Taylor Swift.

In November, the Department of Justice opened an antitrust investigation at Live Nation Entertainment focused on whether he had abused his power over the live music industry.

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

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

Last month, same day Live Nation Entertainment announced had earned $651.3 million in ticket revenue in the fourth quarter of 2022, the company responded to politicians in a sentence.

The company, which sold more than 550 million tickets last year, said it sent more than 35 pages of information to lawmakers to provide context on the “industry realities” it has dominated since Ticketmaster and Live Nation, a promoter of events 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 it; that venues set and maintain most of the fees associated with tickets and each time take an increasing share; and Ticketmaster has been advocating for years for a federal all-in pricing requirement,” the statement reads.

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 that the government imposed as a condition of the merger.

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

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