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US: Ozzy drops antitrust lawsuit

 |  September 23, 2018

According to a report by Billboard, musician Ozzy Osbourne has had his antitrust lawsuit against AEG dismissed with prejudice after company officials announced plans to end its policy requiring acts that wanted to play the O2 Arena in London to also play Staples Center in Los Angeles.

On Friday, September 21, Osbourne’s attorney Daniel Wall filed a stipulation to dismiss the case, ending the lawsuit filed in March against AEG. The case was dismissed with prejudice, meaning Osbourne can’t refile the lawsuit.

AEG had used a clause in its contracts with performers that required performers who used the O2 arena to also perform at the Staples Center, allegedly to counter Azoff MSG’s reported block-booking requirement that performers play at The Forum in Los Angeles to get access to Madison Square Garden in New York.

AEG announced it would drop its policy, contingent to Azoff’s own alleged policy not returning. Nine days after AEG’s announcement, Osbourne dismissed his lawsuit.

AEG stated in response to the dismissal that, “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.”

Ozzy had tentatively agreed to perform at London’s O2 Arena on February 11, 2019, as part of his “No More Tours 2” farewell run, but he claimed that AEG added a provision stating that if Osbourne played an indoor arena within 25 miles of Los Angeles that was promoted by competitor Live Nation during the tour, he would have to play the AEG-owned Staples Center as well.

Osbourne wanted a judge to invalidate the provision in his contract that forced him to perform at Staples.

Full Content: Billboard

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