UFC Moves for Summary Judgment in Antitrust Class Action

On July 30, Zuffa LLC—parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (“UFC”)—moved for summary judgment, requesting the dismissal of an antitrust suit filed against them by a proposed class of mixed martial arts (“MMA”) fighters. While the MMA fighters allege that the UFC engaged in anti-competitive practices to dominate the MMA industry and restrict fighters’ wages, the UFC counters that there is no evidence of such activity, instead contending that fighters’ wages are increasing. The action was originally filed in 2014 by fighters Cung…
Continue reading...

NCAA Asks Ninth Circuit to Adhere to Seventh Circuit Ruling

On June 29, 2018, in a letter, lawyers representing the NCAA asked the Ninth Circuit to adhere to the Seventh Circuit’ recent decision and not revive a proposed wage-and-hour class action lawsuit brought by former NCAA football player, Lamar Dawson. The lawyer’s asked the Ninth Circuit to adhere to the June 25, 2018 Seventh Circuit ruling that upheld the NCAA’s controversial “year-in-residence rule.” The rule mandates that if a student athlete transfers from a division one institution to another division one institution, they are…
Continue reading...

NCAA’s ‘Year in Residence’ Rule Here To Stay

The Sports Law Insider has previously reported on the NCAA’s attempt to modernize their transfer rules. The NCAA has transitioned into a notification based system in which student athletes no longer have to receive permission from their current schools to transfer. Instead, they  enter their name into a national database that then notifies their current school of their decision to leave. However, the NCAA did allow individual conferences to install more stringent regulations if they wished. The Sports Law Insider then reported on the Athletic…
Continue reading...

SCOTUS Declines Opportunity to Reconsider MLB Antitrust Exemption

Major League Baseball’s immunity from antitrust violations under the Sherman Act has been called an “anomaly.” It has also been consistently upheld by courts since 1922, when it was unanimously affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States. The exemption was codified by Congress in the Curt Flood Act of 1998, maintaining an exemption for MLB and its clubs when conducting the “business of baseball” and providing more freedom to players seeking free agency and salary arbitration. Despite striking out with lower courts, two…
Continue reading...

NCAA Argues $42 Million Award is Unjustified

On February 15, 2018, an attorney representing the NCAA urged a panel of judges from the Ninth Circuit to reject a $42 million attorney’s fee award for attorneys representing student-athletes. Back in 2009, a class of players, led by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon, sued the NCAA claiming that the NCAA violated antitrust laws by wrongfully profiting off the likenesses of student-athletes and not offering scholarships at the full cost of attending the university. In 2015, the class of players won their suit; however,…
Continue reading...

NCAA Wins Motions in Antitrust Litigation

On January 3, 2018, Judge Nathanael M. Cousins denied the class of former NCAA student-athlete’s motion to reopen discovery in the NCAA antitrust litigation. The litigation began in March 2014, when former student-athletes claimed that the NCAA violated antitrust laws by capping scholarship awards below the actual cost of college attendance. The former student-athletes wanted to reopen discovery to gain access to a public opinion survey conducted by the NCAA, which according to the players said that 79 percent of Americans believe that big universities…
Continue reading...

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…
Continue reading...

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…
Continue reading...

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…
Continue reading...

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…
Continue reading...