Yesterday TMZ reported that Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne is suing AEG for “blackmailing” him through a practice known as “block-booking,” which is basically forcing an artist to perform at a specific venue. In this case, the venue in question is LA’s Staples Center.
The source is saying that AEG is not allowing Osbourne to play at London’s O2 Arena unless he also performs at the Staples Center. Oz sees this as a violation of the antitrust laws, which prohibit businesses from gaining a stranglehold on customers.
“Osbourne has set his sights on the newly refurbished Forum in nearby Inglewood… not so much because he’s set on performing there, but because he wants a bidding war between Staples and The Forum so he can line his pockets with more money.
“According to his agreement with AEG, if Ozzy performs anywhere within a 25-mile radius of LA he MUST perform at Staples, and that takes away his leverage. As for the O2 Arena… the only way he can play there is if he plays ball with AEG in Los Angeles.
“Ozzy wants a judge to invalidate the provision in his contract that forces him to perform at Staples.”
Sharon Osbourne stated:
“Shame on AEG for bringing artists into a power struggle that you’re having with your competition, Live Nation.”