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Ozzy Osbourne drops AEG lawsuit

Ozzy Osbourne has dropped his antitrust lawsuit against AEG following the promoter’s move to end its block-booking policy.

The rock star filed the suit in March after the company informed him that in order to secure a gig at London’s O2 Arena, he’d have to bring his tour to LA’s Staples Center.

Earlier this month, AEG announced it is ending the policy whereby artists are required to play both venues.

A judge previously denied AEG’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, and Osbourne’s lawyer has since filed a stipulation to dismiss the case with prejudice, meaning the artist can’t refile the lawsuit at a later date.

“Sharon [Osbourne] and Ozzy are pleased, there is nothing left to litigate,” his lawyer Dan Wall told Variety.

AEG introduced the block-booking ruling after a similar policy was launched by Azoff-MSG Entertainment that connected The Forum in Inglewood, California with Madison Square Garden in New York.

“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 realising 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.”

Image: Kevin Burkett