Category Archives: Antitrust

MLB Continues Fight Against Fans in Antitrust Cable Lawsuit

In 2012, sports fans filed suit against the MLB, NHL, and the Yankees Sports & Entertainment Network (YES), among others, alleging that their TV “blackout” rules are illegal. Sports leagues’ TV blackout rules have long frustrated sports fans. U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin provided an example of a typical situation for out-of-market sports fans in her 2015 opinion granting class action certification: A Yankees fan who lives in Iowa cannot purchase only the YES Network—as a fan living in New York can—he must…

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Minor Leaguers’ Antitrust Action Against MLB is Dismissed

On September 14, 2015, a federal judge in California granted Major League Baseball’s motion to dismiss the minor league players’ antitrust action. The class action claimed that the MLB violated federal antitrust law, alleging that the league suppressed the compensation of minor league players through its antitrust exemption. This historic exemption was established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1922. District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr.’s decision dismissed the case pursuant to a January 2015 decision in which the 9th Circuit upheld the MLB’s antitrust…

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The NCAA Continues Opposition of Class Certification in Scholarship Antitrust Actions

On Tuesday September 8, 2015, the NCAA continued its opposition of class certification in a multidistrict antitrust litigation, which seeks to reduce NCAA restrictions on scholarship caps for Bowl Subdivision D-1 football players and for men’s and women’s basketball teams. The lawsuits, filed on behalf of past and current NCAA athletes, also aim to reduce restrictions on what schools can offer their players—like compensation, for example. The plaintiff’s initial filing seeking class certification came in April 2015. For the individual cases to be certified,…

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Another Plaintiff Joins the Trend: The NFL-DirecTV Antitrust Litigations

Over the course of Summer 2015, the NFL and DirecTV have been served with nine separate antitrust lawsuits, alleging that the defendants’ “NFL Sunday Ticket” agreement is in violation of the antitrust laws.  All complaints have been filed on behalf of commercial entities, such as bars and restaurants, and the most recent complaint, filed by Jammers, Inc., owner of a bar in Los Angeles, proposes a class action lawsuit against the defendants. While all major American professional sports leagues have out-of-market broadcasting agreements with…

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The NHL Broadcasting Antitrust Case: The Effect of the Settlement Agreement on Viewer Options

On Tuesday September 1, 2015 the NHL’s settlement agreement with the plaintiffs in the broadcast antitrust lawsuit was approved by the federal judge. The action was initially filed in 2012, and the settlement was presented to the judge for approval this past June. NHL games are broadcast both on television and over internet streaming. In recent years, fans choosing to watch games over television broadcasting have had two viewing options. Through the first option, viewers could watch their local market’s team through the local…

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Golden Boy Promotions v. Haymon: Who is the Real Double-Dipper?

This past May, boxing promotion company Golden Boy Promotions LLC filed an antitrust action against Alan Haymon, a manager for various boxers, including Floyd Mayweather.  The action claims that Haymon violated the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, and several state laws, alleging that the manager acted as both a manager of boxers and a boxing promoter to monopolize American boxing.  Laws such as the Ali Act are intended to separate boxing promotion from management so that fiduciary duties owed to…

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Amazon Investigated For E-Book Antitrust Violations

Oh how the tables have turned for retail giant Amazon.com.  Three years ago, Amazon pushed for an antitrust investigation of Apple for e-book price fixing.  Now, however, regulators in the European Union have opened an e-book anti-trust investigation into Amazon. On June 11, 2015 the European Commission announced that it was formally investigating Amazon’s business practices related to its e-book business.  Of particular focus are Amazon’s contracts with European publishers.  Under the terms of those agreements, publishers are required to inform Amazon if the publishers…

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Flag on the Play: NFL, AP Urge Court to Close Book on Photographers’ Antitrust Suit

On Friday, May 29, the National Football League and the Associated Press told a New York federal court that the seven photographers bringing a copyright and antitrust suit had lost their right to file a revised complaint.  In March, U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet dismissed the photographers’ claims, but gave them twenty days to file a new complaint.  The parties then agreed to a three-week extension for the amended pleadings to be filed, but the photographers failed to meet the May 11 deadline. Rather…

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Antitrust Battle Between MMA Fighters and UFC Continues

On April 10, Mixed Martial Arts (“MMA”) fighters Cung Le, Jon Fitch, and Nate Quarry filed their opposition to UFC’s motion to dismiss the putative class action and to transfer the venue. In the court documents, the fighters argued that UFC’s bid to transfer venue was improper because the suit is alleging antitrust violations, not breach of contract.  In response to the UFC’s argument that the plaintiffs did not specify “how the agreements unreasonably restrain competition,” the plaintiffs simply said, “The UFC is…

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StubHub Claims Warriors & Ticketmaster Conspired to Form a Monopoly

Over the weekend, online ticket resale marketer StubHub, filed an antitrust lawsuit in Federal Court against the NBA’s Golden State Warriors and Ticketmaster, alleging conspiracy to create a monopoly. The Golden State Warriors have been very successful on the court as of late.  This year, the team clinched a playoff spot for the third straight season and secured the first seed in the playoffs in the western conference.  The team has also sold out 118 straight home games in addition to maxing out its season…

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