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MLB’s Antitrust Exemption Faces New Legal Challenge

 |  December 22, 2021

Major League Baseball’s antitrust exemption is facing a new legal test. On Monday, lawyers representing the parent companies of four former minor-league teams (the Staten Island Yankees, Tri-City Valley Cats, Norwich Sea Unicorns, and Salem-Keizer Volcanoes) filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court alleging MLB’s commissioner’s office of violating the Sherman Act.

Those four clubs had their affiliate status revoked as part of MLB’s overhauling of the minor leagues last year. That process saw 40 teams in all removed, reported CNBC.

The complaint, filed by Weil, Gotshal & Manges, spans 33 pages. It states that MLB’s reorganization of the minors was a “naked, horizontal agreement to cement MLB’s dominance over all professional baseball.” 

The plaintiffs allege that the precedent of NCAA v. Alston bolsters their case in that SCOTUS refused to blindly provide special antitrust protection to a sports business. They argue this reasoning favors taking away baseball’s exemption.

Full complaint: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1H7uvTOVoxrdFfLP0ZCqK9stizb4sGr5R/view