A PYMNTS Company

World Wrestling Entertainment Must Face Rival Antitrust Suit

 |  June 18, 2023

A smaller competitor filed an antitrust lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment in the US, claiming that the company had a monopoly over professional wrestling media rights. The lawsuit was denied by a judge.

According to Reuters, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California, ruled on Thursday that MLW Media presented enough circumstantial evidence to suggest that WWE uses their market power to prevent competitors from accessing distributors and arenas.

According to MLW, WWE, based in Stamford, Connecticut, holds approximately 92% of revenue from U.S. media rights for professional wrestling, while All Elite Wrestling commands 6%, and the remaining companies hold less than 2%.

Related: Major League Wrestling Files Antitrust Case World Wrestling Entertainment

The plaintiff, based in Mamaroneck, New York, referenced WWE’s exclusive rights agreements with major cable networks Fox and Comcast’s NBCUniversal. They also claimed that WWE prevents competitors from accessing NBC’s streaming platform Peacock.

Davila noted that MLV had made a credible claim that WWE’s actions had resulted in significant competition foreclosure in the professional wrestling media rights market.

In a statement, MLW’s lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, expressed the company’s intention to seek damages for WWE’s anticompetitive behavior over a prolonged period.