Ozzy Osbourne, AEG Attorneys Trade Fighting Words in Latest Round of L.A. Venue Wars

In the latest salvo in the Los Angeles arena battle pitting Staples Center against the Forum, attorneys for AEG filed a motion to dismiss Ozzy Osbourne’s anti-trust lawsuit challenging the promoter’s block-booking policy, which requires artists playing the London’s O2 Arena to also play Staples Center in Los Angeles — and which AEG claims is in response to a similar policy around the Forum and Madison Square Garden.

AEG lawyer Paul Salvaty says Osbourne doesn’t have legal standing to sue the company over the Staples Center commitment letter at the center of this latest round of the battle because the singer was not a party to the agreement, which Salvaty claims is actually between AEG and rival promoter Live Nation. The commitment letter was publicized with no shortage of outrage by Osbourne’s wife and longtime manager, Sharon. News of the motion was first reported by Billboard.

Speaking with Variety, Osbourne’s attorney Dan Wall said Tuesday, “The lawsuit was originally filed because, as Sharon has said, AEG doesn’t have any right to tell an artist where to play. And in this motion they’re seizing upon very technical language in their letter agreement to say that this isn’t really about the artists at all, it’s about the promoter — but the promoters are obviously working on behalf of the artists, and the agreement explicitly requires a promoter to ensure that the artist plays Staples if the tour goes through Los Angeles, and how can that be done without affecting the artist? Obviously, it can’t. It’s a cynical motion that is really quite deceptive in what it’s saying.”

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