Ozzy Osbourne Sues AEG Over Booking Policy

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Josh Lowe for Alternative Revolt

In sight of Ozzy Osbourne’s upsoming “No More Tours 2” world tour, Osbourne has filed a lawsuit against mega concert promoter, AEG. According to TMZ Osbourne filed the suit alleging that AEG is blackmailing him, using a practice known as “block-booking” to prevent him from performing at other nearby venues owned by a different promoter. In relation, AEG has forced Ozzy to perform at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, against his wishes.

Being a native of England, Osbourne had agreed to perform at the London O2 Arena, which is also owned by AEG. Per Osbourne, he claims that AEG had added a provision stating that if the singer had performed at an indoor venue within 25 miles that was promoted by a competing promoter (Live Nation/The Forum), then he would have to perform at the Staples Center as well.

Sharon Osbourne, who is Ozzy’s business manager in addition to being his wife, feels that these actions from AEG violate antitrust laws, and that AEG is overstepping boundaries in which they are abusing bargaining power that are not conducive to a free market.

Sharon’s complaint reads…”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.”

“Shame on AEG for bringing artists into a power struggle you’re having with your competitor, Live Nation. I can assure you that Live Nation would never strong-arm an artist into playing a venue they’re not comfortable performing in.”

AEG Live chairman/CEO Jay Maricano responded by saying, “Dear Sharon, Thank you for your note. Please understand this dispute is between The Forum and Staples Center and we couldn’t agree with you more — it should always be the artist’s choice. We long for the days when artists and fans came first. PS — The other guys started this first!”

In attempt to threaten legal action, Sharon Osbourne stated, “This is a staggering attempt to blackmail Ozzy into playing your venue in Los Angeles. It is also a complete abuse of bargaining power and not conducive to a free market.”

“I find the way you’re conducting yourself and your company to be no more than childish playground tactics. I cannot be involved in a squabble between two venue owning promoters as my interests only lie 100 percent with Ozzy.”

JT “Doc” Berry \m/