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Ear to the Ground

Supreme Court Rules Against NFL

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Posted on May 24, 2010
Flickr / hyku (CC-BY)

In a ruling that has implications for other professional sports leagues, the Supreme Court decided Monday that NFL teams are individual businesses that are subject to antitrust laws when they act collectively (via the league) to limit competition.

The court agreed that it made sense for owners to cooperate in certain circumstances, such as scheduling games, but said, “Decisions by NFL teams to license their separately owned trademarks collectively and to only one vendor are decisions that [deprive the marketplace] ... of actual or potential competition.”

Read the decision here (PDF).  —PZS

Los Angeles Times:

The 9-0 ruling leaves the owners of most pro sports teams subject to being sued if they agree among themselves to restrict competition between the teams over their sale of merchandise.

The ruling reinstates an antitrust suit filed by a suburban Chicago maker of stocking caps, which lost its right to use NFL logos on its caps.

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