Update: Federal Judge Grants Temporary Restraining Order Blocking FanDuel DraftKings Merger

U.S. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown issued a temporary restraining order preventing DraftKings and FanDuel from completing their merger as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) seeks a preliminary injunction. The proposed merger would keep both websites operational. DraftKings CEO Jason Robbins will be the CEO of the merged company and FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles will become Chairman of the Board. Even though both companies will still be operating and consumers will have a choice of which to use, the FTC argues the merger will limit competition and create a “near monopoly.” Having the companies remain competitors, according to the FTC, awards consumers the best possible prices, the highest quality of service and a larger prize pool. The temporary restraining order will allow the FTC to secure the injunction and make ...
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FTC Seeks Injunction on FanDuel and DraftKings Merger

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the attorney generals for California and the District of Columbia will file a complaint to prevent the merger of FanDuel and DraftKings while the FTC is reviewing the merger process. FanDuel and DraftKings make up 95 percent of the daily fantasy sports market. The FTC argues the merger would “deprive customers of the substantial benefits of direct competition.” The companies announced the merger in November 2016, in large part to cut their legal bills. At the time, the companies were focused on changing state laws to legalize daily fantasy sports. The companies were largely successful as FanDuel  now operates in 39 states and DraftKings in 40. This is certainly an expansion from 1980 when modern fantasy sports started. A 2006 federal law helped expand ...
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eSports Multibillion Dollar Question

As one of the fastest growing industries today, eSports is starting to garner the attention of not just investors, but also gamblers. The interest in eSports from sports bettors is predictable, given that this industry generated $325 million in revenue in 2015 from merchandise, media rights, advertising, and tickets alone. In fact, according to the market research firm Eilers & Krejcik, the unregulated eSports betting market generated around $7.4 billion in betting turnover in 2016 and is expected to reach $23 billion by 2020. As this unregulated market continues to grow, casino owners have started to work with state legislators to attempt to bring a new regulated market into play. The foundational issue concerning gambling on eSports is whether competitive gaming is a sport in the legal sense. If eSports ...
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NCAA Responds to Former NIU Punters Attempt to Revive Antitrust Challenge

The NCAA has urged the Seventh Circuit to reject the appeal of former Northern Illinois University punter, Peter Deppe. As mentioned in our previous post, Deppe’s proposed class action suit, which revolves around the NCAA’s transfer rules and eligibility bylaws, was dismissed in March, 2017. In a Wednesday, June 14, 2017 brief, the NCAA voiced their opinion on Deppe’s appeal and his interpretation of a 2012 Seventh Circuit decision. Deppe claims that the Seventh Circuit decision requires the NCAA to prove the transfer rules are “clearly necessary” and “therefore essential” to be presumed pro-competitive. In response, the NCAA referenced the ruling in Agnew v. NCAA. The NCAA interpretation of the ruling supposedly shows that the transfer rules are generally necessary and essential, which gives an automatic presumption of pro-competitiveness in ...
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NHL Trying to Eject Two Retired Players from Concussion Lawsuit

The National Hockey League is urging the Minnesota federal court to act now to remove two former players from the proposed class action. The NHL wants its bid for summary judgement for claims made by Gary Leeman and Bernie Nicholls to press on. The league argues the three-year statute of limitations bars these two players’ claims, who retired in the late 1990s. Both Leeman and Nicholls serve as class representatives of their respective classes. The NHL argues the move for summary judgement is appropriate now, instead of when the court considers whether the ex-players could serve as class representatives, since the league has the “prerogative to seek judgement as to individual named plaintiffs.” The league further argues that discovery shows the players knew of their injuries more than three years ...
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Skechers Cites Puma Ruling in Adidas Suit

On Monday, June 5, 2017, Skechers USA Inc. cited a decision in California’s Central District that refused an injunction bid by Puma in their case Puma SE v. Forever 21 Inc., which Skechers claims to be “materially indistinguishable” to their longstanding case with Adidas. The case revolves around Skechers’ design of the “Onix” and its “near identical resemblance” to the Adidas Stan Smith. In February 2016, U.S. District Judge Marco A. Hernandez issued an injunction, ceasing all production and sales of the “Onix” due to the “striking similarities” of the two models. Judge Hernandez asserted that Skechers knowingly attempted to draw off the recent resurgence of the Stan Smith. Production of the Onix halted, but Skechers promised an appeal was imminent. The appeal began in October 2016, with Skechers arguing ...
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UCF Kickoff Specialist and YouTube Star Violating NCAA Rules?

The most popular football player on campus is usually not the kickoff specialist, but that might be the case at the University of Central Florida. UCF kicker Donald De La Haye YouTube channel has over 53,000 subscribers. Several of his videos have over 300,000 views. This large following has allowed De La Haye to receive profit from ads that run in conjunction with his videos. The problem is De La Haye is a student-athlete and NCAA bylaw 12.4.4 prohibits student-athletes from using their names, photograph, appearance or athletics reputation in promotion of a business. In his 41 videos, De La Haye shows what it is like to be a student-athlete, discusses his career at UCF, shows footage of UCF’s indoor facility and UCF logos. De Le Haye claims he is ...
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NHL Fights Boston University Over Attorney Fees

Boston University is requesting more than $119,000 in attorney’s fees accrued during its defense against the National Hockey League’s discovery request for documents and data related to research done by BU’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center. The NHL had requested all CTE research done by the University, but only received discovery related to six NHL players. BU claimed there is no reason the NHL would need data about other people, while the NHL argued that it needs all of the research available in order to establish the reliability of the connection between playing in the NHL and the development of CTE in the brains of its players. In early May, a U.S. District Court Judge denied the NHL’s demand for all of BU’s medical data due to the excessively broad ...
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Vijay Singh Files Appeal Against PGA Tour

Vijay Singh has filed a cross-appeal against the PGA Tour in the latest chapter of litigation between the two parties that has spanned almost five years. The case, which has been ordered to trial, centers around Singh’s admitted use of deer antler spray that led to his suspension from the Tour. Singh sued the Tour in 2013, claiming the Tour unfairly suspended him for using the spray before it consulted with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), who had previously ruled that that the use of deer antler spray was not a violation without the presence of a failed drug test. Although Singh was reinstated by former Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, Singh continued with the lawsuit, claiming that he faced “humiliation and ridicule” from the initial suspension. The cross-appeal, which Singh ...
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Wilson Hopes Class Action Suit Will be a Swing and a Miss

On Wednesday, June 7, 2017, Wilson Sporting Goods Co. asked an Illinois Federal Court to dismiss a putative class action suit involving their DeMarini youth baseball bats. The original suit was filed in April by parent Theodore Sheeley. Sheeley purchased a DeMarini youth baseball bat for his son who plays in leagues and tournaments in which all bats must follow USSSA standards. The DeMarini bat Sheeley purchased included the all-important silver sticker, which is reserved for bats that meet all USSSA regulations. Sheeley argues that the bats do not meet the standards and that he and others are left with bats that cannot be used in the diamond. Sheeley believes the bats were specifically marked and advertised as bats that were acceptable under the regulations, leading to consumers relying on ...
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