Taylor Swift fans had their time wasted and pockets emptied by Ticketmaster. Now they’re calling to break up the company’s live events monopoly – and joining the movement to crack down on monopolies, period.

by Bella DeVaan, Inequality.org

The anti-monopoly movement is having a moment. Gone are the days of associating evil market dominance with Standard Oil or Carnegie Steel, Bill Gates’ petulance during deposition, or how it feels to desperately mortgage Marvin Gardens because you landed at the hotel on Park Place.

As now-Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chair Lina Khan asserted five years ago in her seminal work, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” our government’s outdated enforcement standards “fail[ed] to register” monopolistic harm. Since then, millions more Americans have been awakened to the sinister power of monopolies in our economy – and the exciting political opportunities to rein them in.

Taylor Swift at the 2018 American Music Awards held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, USA on October 9, 2018.

Last week, legions of new anti-monopolists were born. They have enormous potential to change the game: shrewd social media skills, undying loyalty, and encyclopedic knowledge. They’re Taylor Swift’s superfans – and they just might be the reason that the government breaks up Ticketmaster.

The Swifties – as Swift’s stans are affectionately nicknamed – experienced the destructive power of the live event and ticketing monopoly firsthand. Hoping to procure pre-sale tickets to their favorite pop star’s upcoming tour, millions of fans waited in endless e-queues, only to be hit with sky-high ticket prices and exorbitant fees – if they were able to snag a ticket at all.

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