Sharon Osbourne fires back at AEG over antitrust lawsuit

Sharon Osbourne fires back at AEG over antitrust lawsuit

Sharon Osbourne has slammed AEG after her husband Ozzy dropped his antitrust lawsuit against the company. 

The former Black Sabbath frontman sued the company earlier this year over its requirement that artists must play the Staples Center in Los Angeles if they also wish to perform at London’s The O2. 

Osbourne accused AEG, which operates both venues of “blatant, uncompetitive conduct” over the demands, which AEG said were made in response to rival Azoff MSG Entertainment's refusal to book acts into its Madison Square Garden venue in New York unless they also played the company’s Los Angeles venue, The Forum, over the Staples Center.

AEG claimed victory last week when Osbourne dropped the lawsuit, which it labelled "a transparent public relations ploy", after agreeing to end the block booking policy. "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," it said in a statement. 

"Our policy was an appropriate, lawful and effective competitive response to Irving Azoff's pressure tactics seeking to force artists into the Forum. If those tactics resurface, we will redeploy our policy as needed.

"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."

However, Sharon Osbourne has now fired back in an explosive statement directed at AEG owner Philip Anschutz.

"To say that this 'suit was instigated by Azoff and paid for by MSG and Live Nation', and that 'it was hatched on the back of an artist who we believe had no idea what he was biting off,' is untrue and disrespectful to Ozzy, myself and the entire team working on this tour," she said. "Whatever differences you have with Irving Azoff, don't presume you know who instigated the lawsuit or you know anything about Ozzy Osbourne, because you obviously don't know anything about Ozzy's history or mine. So stop with your hubbildy, bubbuldy BULLSHIT and your little pissing contest with Live Nation and MSG. 

"Regarding the allegations in the AEG statement that this 'suit was a transparent public relations ploy', if that was indeed the case, why then did AEG rush out a statement of victory? While we, throughout this process, until now have only made one statement around the initial filing.

"Ozzy's preference was to perform at The Forum, a venue that has been a part of his music history for more than 46 years. From the start, this was not a battle solely for Ozzy, as much as one for other artists who were being forced to abide by these rules and regulations. Let's not all forget why you're here...the artists.

"The only thing remotely interesting in your statement was your pitiful attempt at humor with your quote that Ozzy 'had no idea what he was biting off.' If you're interested, Ozzy and I have got something nice for you bite on...our assholes...see ya loser!" 

Ozzy Osbourne is scheduled to perform at The O2 on February 11 next year. 



For more stories like this, and to keep up to date with all our market leading news, features and analysis, sign up to receive our daily Morning Briefing newsletter

subscribe link free-trial link

follow us...