Ozzy Osbourne Files Anti-Trust Lawsuit Against Concert Promoter AEG
Ozzy Osbourne's battle against AEG has just gone up another level as he's now filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the concert promoter AEG. He's also looking to be given class-action status, which would open the door to fellow artists to join the suit.
It was just over a month ago that Sharon Osbourne, Ozzy's manager and wife, claimed AEG Live was blackmailing the singer by using controversial block-booking practices to force him into performing at the AEG-owned Staples Center in Los Angeles and O2 Arena in London. Apparently, if Osbourne wants to play the O2, he must also play the Staples Center during his 'No More Tours 2' farewell tour.
"Sharon Osbourne, Ozzy’s wife and business manager, publicly complained about having to sign the Staples Center Commitment, but AEG would not relent," the suit complaint reads, according to Billboard. "Ozzy commences this action (on his own behalf and for all similarly situated artists) to prohibit AEG from enforcing the Staples Center Commitment, an unlawful tying arrangement that unfairly leverages AEG’s dominance in greater London to distort and deter competition in greater Los Angeles."
Osbourne's attorney Daniel Wall accuses AEG of being a "monopolist for arena-sized venues in greater London" which, "through management contracts it also controls a number of other large concert venues in greater London in addition to the O2," including The SSE Arena at Wembley and the summer concerts series at Hyde Park.
In addition to filing the lawsuit, Osbourne is seeking class-action status, which would allow other artists pressured to sign the Staples Center Commitment letter to join the fight for the right to choose whatever venue they prefer to play. AEG is denying the charges, telling Billboard, "This suit is without merit and we will vigorously fight it."
"We welcome a closer look at the global live entertainment market and, specifically, our practices and the practices of our competition. AEG has always worked hard to put artists first. At the same time, we must respond to the actions of those we compete with, specifically Live Nation and Madison Square Garden. Fighting for a level playing field is fair competition at its core," the company says.
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