Ticketmaster cancels Taylor Swift ticket sales after "staggering" bot problem

"You're the problem," outraged Swifties tell Ticketmaster as it cancels the planned ticket on-sale to the general public for Taylor Swift's Eras Tour.

Ticketmaster announced it would cancel ticket sales to the general public for Swift's highly anticipated 2023 US stadium tour due to "extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand."

The ticket giant's eleventh-hour decision to call off the planned sale on Friday, November 18, left fans confused, frustrated, and demanding answers. It is not clear when the sales will open to the general public – if at all.

The announcement follows Tuesday's pre-sale with over 2 million tickets sold – the most ever for an artist in a single day – but quickly turned into a debacle as 3.5 billion requests overwhelmed the site.

It repeatedly crashed, leaving many fans unable to buy tickets and others spending hours in line as prices soared. Ticketmaster responded to the outcry with a statement blaming unprecedented traffic and bot attacks.

"The staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn't have invite codes drove unprecedented traffic on our site, resulting in 3.5 billion total system requests – 4x our previous peak," Ticketmaster said.

The company said uninvited volume disrupted "the predictability and reliability" of its pre-sale process. The fans were not convinced, with one Twitter user telling Ticketmaster: "You're the problem. It's you."

Another warned Ticketmaster that "singlehandedly radicalizing hundreds of thousands of intensely passionate young people against monopolies might just backfire."

The chaos raised questions in Congress as well. Sen. Richard Blumenthal noted Ticketmaster's "anti-competitive" behavior, such as ticket price inflation, which dates back years and was only exacerbated by its 2010 merger with Live Nation. The merger creates "near-monopoly," he said.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has called on disappointed Swift fans to sign a petition urging the Department of Justice (DoJ) to break Ticketmaster's "monopoly," which "should never have been approved."

Meanwhile, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, chair of the Senate antitrust panel, said Ticketmaster's dominant position "insulates it from the competitive pressures that typically push companies to innovate and improve their services."

Following a flood of complaints against Ticketmaster, the Tennessee attorney general launched an antitrust probe against it.