House Democrats Attempting to Save Net Neutrality

Recently, the federal appeals court for the D.C. Circuit vacated the Federal Communication Commission (FCC)’s net neutrality rules, claiming that the FCC had failed to justify these regulations under existing law.  However, noting that the appeals court ruling clearly stated that the FCC had the power to regulate broadband access, two Representatives – California Democrats Henry Waxman and Anna Eshoo – are leading a Congressional push to get temporary net neutrality rules in place until the FCC can properly tailor those regulations in a manner …

Continue Reading

Supreme Court Denies NCAA’s Petition to Get “In The Game”

On January 13, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the NCAA’s request to intervene as a party in Keller v. Electronic Arts Inc.  The Keller case stems from 2009 and involves “rights of publicity” and antitrust claims. Former college football players alleged that the EA violated their right of publicity and conspired with the NCAA by using their image and likeness in its videogames.

 In EA’s appeal, the Ninth Circuit held that the NCAA was not immune to the players’ claims because the depictions in …

Continue Reading

The Anti-Trust Suit Isn’t Over Yet for the NCAA

U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken moved the Ed O’Bannon anti-trust lawsuit forward against the NCAA. On November 8, 2013, Judge Wilken certified a class of former and current college athletes suing the NCAA. The suit began in 2009, when former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon sued the NCAA for wrongfully profiting off the names and likeness of former student athletes in EA Sports video games.

The judge ruled that players can seek a verdict forcing the NCAA and its member-schools to end restrictions on …

Continue Reading

Judge Allows NCAA Athletes’ Antitrust Claims to Proceed

A U.S. District Judge in California, Claudia Wilken, rejected all of the NCAA’s arguments to dismiss antitrust claims against it in connection with the use of student athletes’ names and likenesses.  According to the athletes, the NCAA and others are making huge profits by selling rights that should belong to the players.  On October 25, 2013, Wilken ruled that those claims could proceed to the next stage of litigation.

The athletes contend that antitrust laws are applicable because they are forced to give up their …

Continue Reading

San Jose Looking to Play Ball with MLB in Federal Court

On Tuesday, June 18, 2013, the City of San Jose filed an antitrust suit against Major League Baseball (MLB) and its commissioner Bud Selig in federal court.  The dispute revolves around the Oakland Athletics (A’s) hopes to relocate.  Although the A’s have considered a move for a while, the league must approve one first.

The A’s stadium is the fourth oldest in the league, and it shows.  A sewage leak on Sunday June, 16 created problems in the clubhouse forcing the A’s to share a …

Continue Reading

Settlement Allows PeopleBrowsr to Continue Drinking From Twitter’s Firehose Through End of 2013

On April 25, 2013, Twitter Inc. and PeopleBrowsr Inc. (a social media data analytics company) settled a lawsuit in California federal court over alleged violations of various anti-competition statutes.  PeopleBroswr filed suit against Twitter last November after Twitter threatened to cut off the company’s access to the “Firehose” data feed.

Currently, PeopleBroswr purchases social media data from Twitter through the company’s “Firehose” feed, a constantly flowing source of information generated by all of the ‘tweets’ that flows through Twitter on a second-by-second basis.  In order …

Continue Reading

O’Bannon Lawsuit Could Change the Face of NCAA Athletics

Former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon began his antitrust legal dispute against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) back in 2009, when he sued the NCAA for wrongfully profiting off the likenesses of former student athletes in EA Sports video games.  The suit accuses the NCAA of forcing students to waive the right to make money off of their likenesses, a behavior which amounts to an illegal restraint of trade.

In a new twist, in her January ruling, federal Judge Claudia Wilken permitted O’Bannon to …

Continue Reading

On March 27, 2013, in a narrow 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed and remanded a Third Circuit decision upholding the class-action certification in a lawsuit accusing Comcast Corp. of unlawfully monopolizing the Philadelphia cable market.

The Court’s decision to reverse the appellate court ruling hinged on the methodology the Third Circuit used in calculating damages – namely, that the decision to certify the class had impermissibly ignored expert testimony and wrongfully added damage amounts related to claims that had been dismissed.  Justice Scalia …

Continue Reading

As Clock Ticks Down, a Closer Look at the NHLPA’s Threat to Decertify

The National Hockey League Players Association is considering the aggressive move of disclaiming interest in representing National Hockey League Players in collective bargaining negotiations with the league. That move would technically end negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement and open the avenue of anti-trust litigation for the players. Essentially, the NHLPA would be turning over representation of the players to the agents and the attorneys and risk desertion by groups of players that may be adversely affected by anti-trust litigation.

The act of decertification …

Continue Reading

ChampionsWorld Shut Out in Antitrust Suit Against US Soccer

The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and Major League Soccer (MLS) recently prevailed in an antitrust suit brought by former soccer promoter ChampionsWorld LLC in Illinois federal court.

ChampionsWorld had claimed that USSF perpetuated the idea that it was in charge of all professional soccer in the U.S. (including games played by foreign teams) in order to restrain competition against MLS, thereby driving ChampionsWorld out of business.

The federal judge ruled for the US soccer bodies by granting USSF’s petition to confirm an arbitration award …

Continue Reading