Disney, Sony, DreamWorks Asked Court to Dismiss Anti-Poaching Lawsuit

Major animation studios filed a motion to dismiss an antitrust suit filed against them by their former employees.  The defendants Disney, Sony, DreamWorks, and Blue Sky argued in the filing that the plaintiff animators brought the suit five years after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2010 began scrutinizing arrangements to freeze wages and not poach employees in the industry.  Moreover, the defendants further claimed the allegations that the studios would collude to suppress wages was “implausible” when the DOJ’s probe began and after…
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Fighters Take on UFC in Antitrust Bout

On Wednesday, December 24, a third antitrust lawsuit was filed against the UFC by fighters claiming the organization is a monopoly and illegally restrains trade. The first two lawsuits, brought on December 16 and December 22, alleged that the UFC is engaging in illegal practices to eliminate competition from rival MMA promoters.  The activities include counterprogramming, demanding venues and sponsors to sign exclusivity agreements, and taking rights fighters’ likenesses.  This third claim alleges similar misconduct.  The UFC allegedly prevents other promoters’ access to resources that…
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Apple Wins $1 Billion iTunes Antitrust Case

After only three-hours, the jury in a 10 year old dispute reached a verdict favoring Apple.  The federal jury found that Apple’s iTunes 7.0 software was a technological improvement for iPods rather than an attempt to monopolize digital music. Along with improvements such as the addition of games and movies to iPods, iTunes 7.0 included FairPlay.  FairPlay was a digital rights protection system that only permitted songs purchased through iTunes or on CDs to play on iPods.  Songs purchased from competitors would not work. …
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David v. Goliath: Another Suit Brought Against MLB by Minor Leaguers

Four minor league players filed an antitrust lawsuit in San Francisco federal court against Major League Baseball (MLB), claiming that the league’s right of first refusal to resign the players impair their ability to negotiate when their contracts expire. Calling the league a cartel, the complaint said the players are “powerless to combat the collusive power of the MLB cartel.” It further claimed that “MLB continues to actively and openly collude on many aspects of minor leaguers’ working conditions,” including wages and contract terms. Especially,…
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NHL Says No Common Question, No Common Answer, No Class Certification

In a court document released last week, NHL, Comcast, and others urged that the court should not grant a class certification to a group of TV broadcasting service subscribers who brought an antitrust action.  The defendants including NHL, Comcast, MLB and others argued that since the plaintiffs had failed to show common impact with common evidence, granting a class certification was not proper. In 2012, the subscribers commenced the suit alleging that the restrictions imposed by the NHL and MLB on local TV broadcasters are…
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NCAA Using the O’Bannon Decision to Have Two Other Similar Suits Dismissed

While the NCAA is appealing the O’Bannon decision by Judge Claudia Wilken, it is using Judge Wilken’s ruling in that case as the reason why she should dismiss two other scholarship suits before her. One lawsuit was brought by several former men’s and women’s basketball players in 11 conferences as well as football players, including former West Virginia running back Shawne Alston.  The other suit covered players in men’s basketball and football, including Clemson football player Martin Jenkins. In the O’Bannon case, Judge Wilken had…
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O’Bannon Trial: The Ball is Now in the Hands of Judge Wilken

After 24 witnesses over 15 days of trial, it has finally come to an end, with a final round of filings scheduled to end on July 10.  Presiding Judge Claudia Wilken is expected to render her decision by early August.  No matter who wins, there will be appeals. During the last day of the trial, the NCAA articulated the plaintiffs must show all the elements in an antitrust case: buyer, seller, market, product, agreement, restraint, antitrust injury and victim.  The NCAA further argued its rules…
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Former NCAA Football Player Testifies in the O’Bannon Trial

On June 11, Tyrone Prothro, former wide receiver at University of Alabama, took the witness stand in a landmark anti-trust lawsuit against the NCAA.  Prothro is most known for his 2005 legendary play dubbed as ‘The Catch’ which unfortunately left him with horrific injuries including a broken leg which was completely destroyed three weeks later in a game against Florida.  Since The Catch, Prothro underwent 10 leg surgeries that essentially ended his football career.  On the other hand, Alabama received $110,000 in general scholarship fund…
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Sterling to Oppose Forced Sale in Court

L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling released a statement on Monday titled, “The Team is not for Sale.”  In his statement, Sterling claims he will not assent to the forced sale of his team and will fight it in court.  Sterling intends to move forward with a $1 Billion lawsuit against the NBA and commissioner Adam Silver for the forced sale of the Clippers.  Sterling argues that the NBA breached their contract by fining him and that it breached antitrust law by forcing a sale of…
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NCAA Separation Order

The NCAA is currently facing two related antitrust lawsuits regarding their ban on student-athlete compensation.  The first case, brought by former student-athlete and professional athlete Ed O’Bannon, is now set for trial on June 9, 2014.  The second case, brought by former student-athlete Sam Keller, is set for March of 2015. Ed O’Bannon brought his case in 2009, 10 years after his retirement, when he saw his name and likeness being broadcasted by the NCAA during a basketball tournament.  O’Bannon is not seeking a monetary…
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