"On Wednesday, the heavy metal musican filed an antitrust lawsuit against AEG, alleging the entertainment industry giant is illegally tying its venues in London and Los Angeles.
"The tying arrangement at issue is so explicit and brazen that AEG has given it a name: the 'Staples Center Commitment,'" states the complaint filed in California federal court. "Through the Staples Center Commitment, AEG requires that artists and musicians cannot play London’s most essential large concert venue—the O2 Arena —unless they agree to play the Staples Center during the part of their tours that takes place in Los Angeles. Both the O2 and Staples are owned by AEG."
Osborne, represented by lawyers at the top firm of Latham & Watkins, explain that O2 is a "must have" venue for touring musicians because of its popularity and environment.
"Unlike London, however, Los Angeles is a competitive venue market— or has been since at least January 2014, when the 'Forum' reopened in Inglewood after a $100 million renovation," the complaint continues. "Artists touring in Los Angeles have therefore been able to enjoy the benefits of competition between Staples and the Forum. Ozzy would have been such an artist if AEG had not insisted, through the Staples Center Commitment, that he perform at Staples—the venue that AEG owns."
Osborne says he tried to book O2 for the "No More Tours 2" tour and requested February 2019 only to be told that it was available with the condition he play the Staples Center."
The Clayton Act of 1914 outlaws such tying contracts if they substantially lessen competition. It will be interesting to see how far this case goes and what the courts decide. It might matter if there are other venues available. A tying contract is when a firm says that "if you buy product A from us you must also buy product B."