(CelebrityAccess) — Jay Marciano said that despite scrutiny by UK regulators, AEG has no intention of backing off from its coordinated booking policy connecting plays at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and the O2 in London.
In a recent interview with Billboard, Marciano, who is AEG's chief operating officer and chairman, said: "We're confident in our legal position but, in the meantime, we can’t agree to consider changing our policies until the review is completed.”
Marciano told Billboard that the coordinated policy was a response to a similar coordinated booking policy employed by Madison Square Garden and the Forum in Los Angeles. Marciano claims that Irving Azoff forced Neil Diamond's agent Marc Geiger to commit to playing at the forum in order to land a date for his client at Madison Square Garden and stated that Azoff MSG Entertainment has blocked other shows from playing at the Garden sans Forum bookings as well.
Azoff played the alleged coordination off, noting to Billboard in July that "premium" dates at MSG go to friends who have demonstrated loyalty, but has since stated that there is no block booking policy between the two venues.
"MSG and The Forum are open buildings. We said it and we mean it,” Azoff told Billboard.
Marciano was less than sanguine about Azoff's claims, telling Billboard: “I'll believe it when I route [AEG’s] next tour and we don’t get blocked from playing the Garden."
The ongoing debate comes as regulators with the Competition and Market Authority has started to scrutinize AEG's booking policy following a complaint from Live Nation. So far, the CMA has not launched a formal inquiry and just requested information about booking policies from AEG.