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Ticketmaster faces growing outrage after canceling general public sale for Taylor Swift tour

Fans of singer Taylor Swift are seeing red after Ticketmaster cancelled its general public sale of tickets to her upcoming tour. The company cited "extraordinarily high demands" and "insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand" for the cancellation of the tickets, which were to go on sale Friday. 

"I never could have imagined how insane this whole process has been," Amber Garis, who is a fan of Swift, said. "It obviously wasn't meant to be if we didn't get tickets but we're upset."

Garis said she was unable to purchase tickets during Tuesday's ticket presale, so she had been anxiously awaiting her shot on Friday to see her favorite artist with her best friend. 

During Tuesday's presale for Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour, the Ticketmaster website was supposed to open up for 1.5 million verified Swift fans, according to Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei. Instead, 14 million people tried their luck at tickets, including bots, he said. 

The website traffic that day was four times more than Ticketmaster's previous peak and 15% of customers experienced a glitch on the website that day. Based on the unprecedented volume, the ticket company said Swift would have to perform more than 900 stadium shows — which would be a stadium show every single night for the next two and a half years — to match demand.

On Friday, Swift thanked fans for wanting to attend her tour and said she is "trying to figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward."

"I'm not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them, multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could," she wrote on social media. "It's truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them."

She said she hopes "to provide more opportunities for us to all get together and sing these songs."

Ticketmaster said it will not conduct resales for Swift's shows, but other websites are, with some tickets reaching tens of thousands of dollars. 

When attempting to buy resale tickets, fan Sydney Wallace said she was hit with an $11,000 bill on the ticket app Seatgeek but never received the tickets and said her credit cards are frozen. She said Seatgeek will refund her money in three to five days but is unsure if she will attend the concert now.

"They knew the demand ahead of time," she said of companies that sell tickets. "They knew how much traffic was going to be on the site, and they created this environment where no one really had a chance.

The technical issues are the latest development in an ongoing fight between Congress, fans and Ticketmaster. 

Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation have faced anti-trust scrutiny since their merger in 2010, when it combined tickets, promotion, concerts and management under a single umbrella and became the only major player in the concert game. 

This week, lawmakers, including Tennessee's attorney general Jonathan Skrmetti renewed calls for the company to break up.

"We're seeing a situation where people are trying to use the service and aren't getting the product that they paid for, the product that they were promised," Skrmetti said. "And that could be an indicator that there's not enough competition in the market."

In a letter to Live Nation's CEO, Sen. Amy Klobuchar said the company "continues to abuse its market positions" and that its power "insulates it from the competitive pressures that typically push companies to innovate and improve their services."

"That can result in dramatic service failures, where consumers are the ones that pay the price," the Minnesota Democrat wrote.

And that price has taken on a double meaning, as the cost of concert tickets in general has also skyrocketed nearly 18% since 2019. 

CBS News reached out to Live Nation and Ticketmaster about the lawmakers' monopoly allegations, but did not hear back. 

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