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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San Jose Takes MLB Antitrust Case to Supreme Court

As anticipated, the San Jose City Council unanimously voted to appeal the antitrust case challenging MLB’s antitrust exemption. The dispute arose when San Jose’s attempt to relocate the Oakland Athletics to the South Bay was halted by the MLB’s territorial restrictions.  In the lawsuit, the city argued that the territorial rule granting the San Francisco Giants club the right to block the A’s relocation as well as alleged stalling by an MLB relocation committee violated antitrust laws. After the district court dismissed the suit, the…
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District Judge Recuses Herself from NCAA Antitrust Lawsuit

On Thursday, January 29, a federal court judge for the Southern District of Indiana recused herself at the plaintiffs’ request from an NCAA antitrust case as she currently serves as a Butler University trustee. John Rock, a former Gardner-Webb football player who lost his scholarship, filed this lawsuit in 2012 attacking the NCAA’s scholarship cap and one-year scholarship policy.  Rock seeks damages and a ruling from the court that requires all Division 1 universities to offer multiyear scholarships to stop the NCAA from “artificially reducing”…
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9th Circuit Throws Out San Jose’s Antitrust Suit Against MLB

In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that San Jose’s antitrust claims against MLB were barred by baseball’s antitrust exemption. After its antitrust suit against MLB in 2013 was dismissed by a trial court, San Jose had appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit early last year to continue its effort to move the Oakland A’s to Silicon Valley. San Jose challenged the 92-year old antitrust exemption of MLB to bring the Oakland Athletics to Silicon…
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