Ozzy Osbourne has officially ended his legal fight with AEG, dropping his anti-trust lawsuit against the company in the wake of its policy change away from “block booking” London’s O2 Arena with the Staples Center in Los Angeles. On Friday, Osborne’s attorney filed a stipulation to dismiss the case with U.S. District Court Judge Dale Fischer, who dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning the suit cannot be refiled, according to Billboard.
“Sharon and Ozzy are pleased, there is nothing left to litigate,” said Dan Wall, who represented Osborne.
Osbourne had filed the lawsuit in reaction to AEG’s policy requiring acts who wished to perform at O2 Arena also perform at the Staples Center if their tour took them through Los Angeles (rather than competing venues in the city). That requirement, which was itself a reaction to a similar policy allegedly enforced by Azoff MSG Entertainment between the LA Forum and Madison Square Garden in New York, was ended earlier this month, as was the Forum-MSG policy.
Though this chapter in the fight between entertainment giants is over, for the moment, AEG made it clear that it will reinstate its policy should Azoff MSG go back on its change, whether or not it leads to further litigation.
AEG’s full statement is below:
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.
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.
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 realizing 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.