With its hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee set for Tuesday morning, news has come out that Live Nation Entertainment retained yet another high-profile lobbyist in recent months – this time with a longtime and direct connection with the subcommittee running the hearing. Disclosure documents show that Live Nation Entertainment hired Seth Bloom – described by Politico as “the former longtime general counsel for the Senate’s antitrust subcommittee” – days after that same subcommittee announced plans to hold a hearing examining competition in the live entertainment and ticketing world.

This week’s hearing comes in the wake of widespread outcry regarding the companies outsized role in the live entertainment and ticketing business, exemplified by the debacle of the Taylor Swift Eras Tour presale in November. Following that mess, numerous consumer groups have called for government action against the company’s market power, and lawmakers have spoken in favor of doing so.

“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,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar said in a press release announcing the hearing. Klobuchar is chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, which is leading the hearing before the full Judiciary Committee. “For too long, consumers have faced high fees, long waits, and website failures, and Ticketmaster’s dominant market position means the company faces inadequate pressure to innovate and improve.”

The hire is the second addition of lobbying firepower to come to light in recent days for Live Nation, which outspent its competitors in ticketing and entertainment by huge sums even before its recent moves. Its other recent move was the retaining of Washington D.C.’s Stewart Strategies and Solutions. According to OpenSecrets.org, Live Nation more than doubled its number of lobbyists beginning in 2019, with a peak in 2021 of nearly 30 at hand and close to $1.3 million spent at the national level. Through three reported quarters in 2022, the company had already spent more than $750,000 and retained 25 lobbyists, with Q4 numbers not yet tracked.

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