Judge Rules Ozzy Osbourne’s Antitrust Lawsuit Against AEG Can Move Forward

According to the Hollywood Reporter, U.S. District Court Judge Dale Fischer has ruled that Ozzy Osbourne’s anti-trust lawsuit against AEG can move forward. Osbourne originally filed the suit for “blackmail” after the company tried to use block-booking practices to get him to play at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The singer was supposed to 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 he had a Live Nation promoted indoor concert within 25 miles of Los Angeles, he would also have to play the AEG owned Staples Center. Osbourne feels this is a violation of the antitrust laws, which are supposed to stop businesses from getting a stranglehold on customers.

In his ruling, Fisher said the following about the situation:

“AEG argues that Ozzy was free to play anywhere he liked in Los Angeles as long as he did not use Live Nation as his promoter to do so. As Ozzy points out, this take on the allegations doesn’t necessarily make AEG’s actions less anticompetitive. But it is arguably different from what is pleaded in the complaint. … In any event, it is clear that the complaint alleges that Ozzy personally suffers damage in a fairly direct and non-speculative way by not being able to play in his preferred venues and that the damage stems from the kind of conduct that antitrust law is intended to prevent. AEG is alleged to be using market power in one market to foreclose competition in another through a tying arrangement. That tie allegedly harms Ozzy by constricting his choices on where to play his concerts regardless of whether Ozzy’s or his concert promoter’s name is on the contract with the venue.”

The ruling goes on to say that Osbourne has adequately alleged that he has been coerced. The judge also added:

“Finally, a plaintiff does not need to show anticompetitive effects in a per se tying case, but Ozzy has nonetheless made numerous plausible allegations of how competition is harmed, most obviously through the restriction of competition in the tied market.”

A scheduling conference for the case is set to take place on September 10.

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