Ozzy Osbourne Drops Antitrust Lawsuit Against AEG
Ozzy Osbourne dropped his antitrust lawsuit against concert promoter Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) after the company agreed to end their practice of “block-booking” their venues.
In the lawsuit, filed in March 2018, Osbourne accused AEG of forcing him to bring his farewell tour to Los Angeles’ AEG-owned Staples Center – instead of the Osbourne-preferred Forum, owned by rival Madison Square Garden Entertainment – in order to secure a gig at London’s O2 Arena, also owned by AEG.
In August, a judge denied AEG’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit outright. However, Osbourne’s lawyer Dan Wall filed a stipulation to dismiss the case with prejudice Friday, meaning that Osbourne can’t refile the lawsuit on a later date.
According to Variety, Osbourne agreed to drop the lawsuit after AEG stated they would end their policy of making artists schedule both the Staples Center and the O2 Arena. “Sharon [Osbourne] and Ozzy are pleased, there is nothing left to litigate,” Wall told Variety.
In an AEG statement after the lawsuit’s dismissal, the company blamed Live Nation, Madison Square Garden Entertainment and Irving Azoff for instigating the Osbourne antitrust lawsuit and warned that AEG would “redeploy” their block-booking policy if Azoff continued his “pressure tactics seeking to force artists into the Forum.”
“On Friday, Ozzy Osbourne dismissed the class action lawsuit he filed against AEG. This dismissal with prejudice is a victory for AEG. We were fully prepared to see the case through to vindicate our policy, but now that Osbourne has decided to dismiss with prejudice, the case is over,” AEG said.
“The Osbourne suit was instigated by Azoff and paid for by MSG and Live Nation. It was hatched on the back of an artist who we believe had no idea what he was biting off. The suit was a transparent public relations ploy that failed to pressure AEG into backing down from a booking policy that was an effective competitive response to the MSG-Forum tie.”
AEG continued, “It is no surprise that once AEG refused to back down, Azoff, MSG and Live Nation became eager to drop the case as soon as possible. They dismissed the case with prejudice after realizing AEG would aggressively defend it, costing them tens of millions of dollars and posing a source of embarrassment once their questionable tactics were exposed in the course of discovery and trial.”
Osbourne’s only Los Angeles-area concert at press time is an October 11th date at the Hollywood Bowl.