According to Billboard, Ozzy Osbourne has filed an anti-trust lawsuit against AEG for “blackmail,” and is seeking class-action status, to allow other artists to join the suit as well. This news comes after Sharon Osbourne previously called out the company for trying to use block-booking practices to get Ozzy to play at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Ozzy was supposed perform at the AEG owned O2 Arena in London on February 11, 2019, and as part of the deal AEG tried to say that if Ozzy had a Live Nation promoted indoor concert within 25 miles of Los Angeles, he would have to play the AEG owned Staples Center too. Ozzy feels this is a violation of the antitrust laws, which are supposed to stop businesses from getting a stranglehold on customers.
“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. “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 says AEG is 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.
AEG offered a statement to 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.”