Category Archives: Antitrust

Lawyers Request Their Cut of Reebok Antitrust Settlement

NFL apparel customers in a class action suit against Reebok, Inc. were awarded a $4.75 million settlement for their claims that Reebok’s exclusive licensing deal with the NFL violated antitrust laws. Now, the lawyers representing the class of plaintiffs in the case would like their cut.  On July 18, attorneys from The Katriel Law Firm PC and Krause Kalfayan Benink & Slavens LLP petitioned a federal judge in California for $1.52 million in attorney’s fees for their work, in addition to reimbursement for over $847,000…

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Judge Gives Final Approval of $200 Million MLB Settlement

On April 25, 2016, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin gave her final approval of the settlement resolving the antitrust claims against MLB. The settlement, which is worth $200 million, lowers the price MLB fans pay to watch games online. The suit began in 2012 when fans brought a class action lawsuit against MLB claiming its territorial blackout policies and policy to sell only league wide game packages violated antitrust laws. The fans complained that the policies prevented them from buying access to watch only the…

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MLB Anti-Trust Settlement Hits Snag with Objector

Back in 2012, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Major League Baseball and some of its broadcast partners, including Comcast and DirecTV, alleging that the high prices for “out of market” games and the blackouts of local “in market” telecasts constituted violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The suit accused the defendants of protecting exclusive territories that had been carved out for live-game video presentation using “anticompetitive blackouts.” However, recently it seemed that the lawsuit was coming to an end, with Forbes reporting that the…

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The Big Leagues: NCAA Requests Extension to Appeal to SCOTUS Over Student-Athlete Compensation

On Thursday, March 3, 2016, the National Collegiate Athletic Association requested a 30-day extension to appeal from a Ninth Circuit ruling which held that the NCAA ban on compensation for the use of student athletes’ images and likenesses violated the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. The litigation began in 2009 when former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon and former ASU and University of Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller filed separate lawsuits against the NCAA, Electronic Arts Inc., and Collegiate Licensing Co. The original lawsuits claimed in part that…

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NFL and Associated Press Want Photographers’ Antitrust Suit Tossed Forever

On Thursday, February 11, 2016, the NFL and The Associated Press asked a New York federal judge to dismiss a group of professional photographers’ second attempt at asserting copyright and antitrust violations over the use of their photos taken at NFL games. At the hearing, the league and the media body — along with their co-defendants in the case, including Getty Images and Replay Photos LLC — argued that the photographers had failed to allege any new facts or claims in their second amended complaint,…

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Judge OKs MLB Antitrust Settlement

On Monday, January 25, 2016, a federal judge gave her approval of a settlement agreement between the MLB and sports fans over territorial blackouts and high prices for out-of-market sports packages. The suit began four years ago when a group of sports fans sued the MLB, the National Hockey League (NHL), individual clubs, Comcast, and DirecTV. According to the fans, the defendants agreed in the early 1980s to divide up the country into geographic territories so that only one or a few teams could broadcast…

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MLB Fans’ Antitrust Suit Settles on Brink of Trial

Tuesday, January 19, 2016  was supposed to mark the beginning of a trial between sports fans and Major League Baseball (MLB) over territorial blackouts and high prices for sports packages. However, just moments before the trial was to begin, the two sides reached a settlement. The suit began four years ago when a group of sports fans sued the MLB, the National Hockey League (NHL), individual clubs, Comcast, and DirecTV. According to the fans, the defendants agreed in the early 1980s to divide up the…

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NCAA Antitrust Litigation: Iowa State Disputes Discovery Demands

Iowa State University recently voiced its objections to discovery requests made by a class of student-athletes in an antitrust litigation against the NCAA. The university contends that the discovery requests are burdensome, over broad, and involve protected private information. The antitrust suit, brought by a certified class of student-athletes, challenges the NCAA rules that bar students from receiving financial aid beyond cost of attendance. Although Iowa State is not a named party to the suit, it objected to a subpoena it received from the class,…

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Central California Named New Home for NFL Sunday Ticket Litigation

On December 8, 2015, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated and assigned multiple antitrust lawsuits challenging the NFL’s exclusive broadcasting agreement with Direct TV to Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell in the Central District of California. The antitrust suits challenge the agreement the NFL has with DirectTV, granting DirectTV exclusive access to all NFL games. Because of the exclusive agreement, football fans can only view out-of-market games if they have Direct TV’s NFL Sunday Ticket package. Surely, fans who do not have Sunday Ticket…

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Judge Alludes to Dismissal of Caddy Ad Lawsuit

At a hearing on Thursday, December 3, 2015, U.S. District Judge Vince Chabbria indicated that he is likely to dismiss an antitrust lawsuit brought by professional caddies against PGA Tour, Inc. In February 2015, professional caddie Mike Hicks and 81 others filed a class-action antitrust suit against the PGA Tour in a California federal court, alleging the Tour’s misappropriation of their “likeness and images in commercial activities.” The caddies seek for a share of revenue flowing in from caddies wearing bibs that display sponsors’ logos,…

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