Ozzy Osbourne Sues AEG for Tying Tour to Rails

By George Khoury, Esq. on March 28, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The living metal, or perhaps iron, legend himself, Ozzy Osbourne, has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Anschutz Entertainment Group (aka AEG) over a contract requirement that the Prince of Darkness play a show at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in order to book the O2 Arena in London.

For performers, as Osbourne alleges, this contract term encourages anti-competitive behavior as there are other venues besides the Staples Center that are suitable for performers as popular as the Blizzard of Oz. Specifically, anticompetitive tying is alleged. Rather than living with something that just isn't fair, the Great Ozz is seeking the help of the federal court in California to enjoin the enforcement of AEG's contract term, and not just for him, he's suing on behalf of all performers and underworld royalty.

Tying Performers to a Venue

The AEG contract term in dispute would require John Michael Osbourne (yes, that's the Ozz-man's real name) to play the Los Angeles Staples Center if he played a show anywhere within 25 miles of Los Angeles on his second final tour. In order to even book the O2 Arena, he had to sign a Staples Center commitment. The complaint explains that in London, the O2 Arena is a "must have venue," while in Los Angeles, there is more selection for "must have" venues.

Dealing With the Godfather of Heavy Metal's Wife

The walking mumbling epitome of heavy metal agreed to AEG's terms in order to book O2 in London. However, recently, his business savvy wife and manager, Sharron, has spoken out against AEG's practices as essentially being blackmail. Additionally, other venues and entertainment groups have come under fire for alleged block booking practices forcing performers to book other venues owned by the group in order to book the one the performer wants.

And while AEG may now have to deal with a potential class action on behalf of superstar performers, reporters posit that this whole situation and lawsuit is just an extension of the ongoing battle between AEG and Live Nation and Irving Azoff.

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