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Lawmakers set to tackle ‘funflation’ as Taylor Swift tour puts spotlight on growing entertainment costs



NEWS UPDATE: Does Swift Deserve All The Critics And Hate She's Getting  This Days


(CNN) – Taylor Swift’s latest album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” which dropped on Friday, became the most-streamed album on its first day across Spotify, Amazon Music and Apple Music.NEWS UPDATE: Does Swift Deserve All The Critics And Hate She's Getting  This Days



The superstar continues to break record after record. Last summer’s “Eras” tour was the highest-grossing concert tour of all time. Swift’s live success, along with Beyonce’s blockbuster tour, jolted the entire U.S. economy, but fans willing to shell out big bucks to be a part of the magic were plagued by ticketing troubles and inflation.

“This is a significant amount of spending that people are still funneling towards entertainment and concerts,” said Elizabeth Renter, data analyst for NerdWallet.

The phenomenon of “funflation” is raising red flags in Washington.

The U.S. Justice Department is planning to sue Live Nation & Entertainment, the country’s largest concert promoter and parent company of Ticketmaster, for breaking America’s antitrust laws, according to reporting from the Wall Street Journal that cited anonymous sources familiar with the DOJ’s plans.

“It’s impossible for a consumer to tell what’s going into these ticket prices,” said Kase Wickman, Vanity Fair contributor. “It’s really frustrating on the consumer side and also feels unfair.”

For its part, Ticketmaster has defended its practices, arguing before Congress last year that it doesn’t set ticket prices or determine how many seats go up for sale.

“Pricing and distribution strategies are determined by the artists and their teams. Service fees, even if they’re called ticketing fees, are retained mainly by the venues,” said Joe Berchtold, president and CFO of Live Nation & Entertainment.

Yet, despite consumer anger over exorbitant fees when buying online, the concert-going craze isn’t over.

“People have rethought how they prioritize what they spend their money on and that we’re going to see continued spending on experiences rather than just stuff,” Renter said.

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