A new episode of the Decoder podcast takes a deep dive on the ticketing world, in reaction to the Taylor Swift Eras Tour mess, and the ensuing fallout. The episode hinges on changes in regulatory policy that took place in the 1980s, allowing companies like Live Nation Entertainment/Ticketmaster to continue to grow to well beyond what would have been considered a monopoly for the prior century.

Changes that arose during the administration of Republican Ronald Reagan have paved the way to the modern ticketing world (albeit indirectly). And the podcast host minced no words in their criticism of that modern ticketing world:

But Ticketmaster sucks, and it gets away with sucking over and over again because there’s fundamentally no competition for ticketing. You can complain all you want, but there’s no real alternative, so Ticketmaster can just make a bad product and get away with it. Worse, because there’s no competition, Ticketmaster can suck and charge ever-higher fees for sucking, and that’s exactly what’s going on.

The podcast is well worth a listen/watch as legislators and regulators continue to work behind the scenes to determine what (if anything) will be done to address the widespread consumer anger over how Ticketmaster/Live Nation operates at the core of the entertainment business. Live Nation has relied on the post-1980s competition landscape to keep its business legal in the eyes of antirust authorities – going so far as to argue that it wouldn’t even matter if it had “100% market share” so long as it didn’t result on prices being held above competitive levels.

Rumor has it that ticketing legislation is expected to be introduced at the federal level within the next month, though it is unclear what direction that legislation will take. Live Nation has argued in favor of laws that would effectively put it in charge of regulating the entire ticketing industry including resale, by allowing it to shut off ticket transfer or resale rights for consumers and extend its market power exponentially. Competitor AEG is reportedly lobbying to see legislation that would end the practice of the exclusive ticketing contracts with venues that have led to such dominance by Ticketmaster. And consumer advocates are pushing for legislation that considers the rights of the ticket-buying consumer as paramount.

You can listen to the entire report via the YouTube video above.