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Live Nation CFO to testify in Senate after Taylor Swift ticketing woes

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FILE PHOTO: The logo for Live Nation Entertainment is displayed on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 3, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Live Nation Entertainment President and Chief Financial Officer Joe Berchtold will testify at a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday after its Ticketmaster’s unit had problems managing the sale of Taylor Swift concert tickets, the committee said.

Live Nation did not immediately comment.

Witnesses at the hearing titled “That’s The Ticket: Promoting Competition and Protecting Consumers in Live Entertainment” will also include top executives from SeatGeek Inc and Jam Productions LLC and Clyde Lawrence, a singer-songwriter in the band Lawrence.

“As Live Nation leverages its power across the concert ecosystem to increase its profits, concertgoers see higher prices, and artists experience challenging touring dynamics,” Lawrence wrote in a New York Times essay last month.

In November, Ticketmaster canceled a planned ticket sale to the general public for Swift’s “Eras” tour, her first in five years, after more than 3.5 billion requests from fans, bots and scalpers overwhelmed its website.

“The issues within America’s ticketing industry were made painfully obvious when Ticketmaster’s website failed hundreds of thousands of fans hoping to purchase tickets for Taylor Swift’s new tour, but these problems are not new,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, who heads an antitrust subcommittee.

In November, Ticketmaster denied any anti-competitive practices and noted it remained under a consent decree with the Justice Department following its 2010 merger with Live Nation.

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