A PYMNTS Company

LIV Golf Picks Up Rare Win In Its Antitrust Suit Against The PGA Tour

 |  May 18, 2023

LIV Golf achieved a victory in its antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour, which is uncommon.

In a recent ruling by Judge Beth Labson Freeman in the U.S. Northern District of California court, it was determined that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and its governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan would be subject to discovery and depositions in the United States, which posed a significant setback for LIV’s legal team.

LIV’s legal team appealed the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to delay the discovery process. Judge Freeman granted the PIF and Al-Rumayyan’s motion for a stay of discovery pending the appeal. According to Jodi Balsam, a professor at Brooklyn Law School and former counsel for the NFL, the appeal process could take 1-2 years.

Read more: US Judge Denies LIV Golf Request To Delay Hearing

The Tour expressed concern about the disparate treatment regarding discovery requests and suggested that the opposing party may be engaging in strategic tactics.

Judge Freeman denied the PGA Tour’s request for a stay of all discovery, despite their cross-motion.

“Memories fade, and documents may disappear over time. Thus, a full halt of discovery would harm the litigation process,” the court filing read. Judge Freeman also called the Tour’s gamesmanship claim “unconvincing.”

The initial lawsuit was initiated in August 2022 by Phil Mickelson and was later joined by 10 other players. However, it has now been taken over by LIV Golf, a company mostly funded by the PIF. The PIF is a wealth fund established in 1971 by the Saudi Arabian administration to invest in multiple projects and businesses and has been valued at more than $650 billion.