• Loading stock data...
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
  • -
    days
  • -
    hours
  • -
    minutes
  • -
    seconds
Law

18 State AGs Ask Supreme Court to Take Up MLB Antitrust Case

  • Coalition supports Tri-City ValleyCats and the Norwich Sea Unicorns challenge of MLB’s antitrust exemption.
  • The teams were among 40 that lost their MLB affiliations in 2020.
MLB antirust
Jimmy Zanor/USA TODAY NETWORK

Eighteen attorneys general nationwide urged the Supreme Court to hear a challenge of MLB’s broad antitrust exemption in an amicus brief filed on Monday. 

The brief comes as part of a legal challenge by Tri-City ValleyCats and the Norwich Sea Unicorns — two of the 40 minor league clubs that lost their MLB affiliations in 2020 — that seeks to curtail MLB’s antitrust exemption. 

In a petition to the nation’s highest court last month, the teams argued MLB’s antitrust protection “has metastasized into a sweeping immunity that permits MLB to engage in brazenly anticompetitive behavior.”

“Baseball may be ‘America’s Pastime,’ but it should also have to play by America’s laws that govern monopolies,” New York Attorney General Letitia James wrote in a statement. “Minor league clubs are part of the fabric of hundreds of communities throughout the nation that don’t have nearby access to a Major League Baseball stadium. By calling these clubs out of the system, Major League Baseball is punishing the fans and local communities.”

The brief by the attorneys general centers around their inability to investigate MLB over alleged anticompetitive behavior related to the contraction of minor league teams from 160 to 120. 

“That contraction struck at the economic wellbeing of teams and communities in 23 states across the country,” the attorneys general wrote in the brief. “But an affected state that wanted to challenge the contraction under its antitrust laws would have no ability to do so. States are preempted from exercising their historic police powers and enforcing their own antitrust laws by a century-old, judge-made federal exemption that covers the business of baseball other than MLB player employment.”

While the NFL has a limited antitrust exemption related to how it can negotiate national broadcast deals, the antitrust exemption granted to MLB in 1922 is more broad. There have been moves by members of Congress over the years to curtail it over issues related to baseball’s steroid issues nearly two decades ago to the pending relocation of the Oakland A’s to Las Vegas. 

Legal scholars and the Rensselaer County (New York) Regional Chamber of Commerce — home to the Troy-based ValleyCats — also submitted briefs on Monday calling on the Supreme Court to take up a case. 

Last week, Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Reps. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y) and Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) submitted their own brief

Beyond New York, the attorneys general for Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and D.C. were part of the coalition behind the Monday brief.

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

The Yankees’ Radio Voice Retires, Ending an Era of Longevity

The longtime Yankees radio announcer was an industry outlier in many respects.

The 25 Highest-Paid MLB Pitchers

Dodgers’ superstar Shoehi Ohtani is the highest-paid player in the MLB.

Bad Bunny’s Sports Agency Hit With Bribe Claims, per Report

The MLBPA stripped Rimas Sports’ top agent of his certification.

A Decade-Long Timeline of the Shohei Ohtani–Ippei Mizuhara Saga

Ohtani’s former interpreter has been federally charged with bank fraud.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Can MLS Get Bigger Than MLB?

0:00
0:00

Featured Today

Women’s Basketball Finally Has a TV Deal to Match the Excitement. Now What?

A lucrative new media-rights contract could rectify problems of the past, but the future of March Madness media rights is anyone’s guess.
Mar 16, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Burns Jr. (30) cuts the net after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for the ACC Conference Championship at Capital One Arena.
April 6, 2024

How Two College Seniors Helped DJ Burns Cash In on a Final Four Run

Two college seniors are facilitating deals for NC State’s big man.
Mar 31, 2024; Portland, OR, USA; NCAA officials measure the three point line while coaches from the Texas Longhorns and NC State Wolfpack watch with referees in the finals of the Portland Regional of the NCAA Tournament at the Moda Center center.
April 1, 2024

NCAA Has No One to Blame for Latest Women’s March Madness Transgressions

NCAA is still making avoidable mistakes three years after a complete overhaul.
Nov 16, 2015; Bloomington, IN, USA; General view of the championship banners at Assembly Hall prior to the game between Austin Peay and Indiana.
March 31, 2024

How to Make It in Basketball: Become a Manager at Indiana

Inside the Hoosiers’ unglamorous, profoundly rewarding incubator for basketball’s biggest names.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Nike
Multiple - USA Careers
NBA
Multiple - USA Careers
Dunham's Sports
Multiple - USA Careers

O.J. Simpson Lawyer Says He Won’t Shield Estate From Goldman, Brown Families

The executor of Simpson’s will had previously said the Goldmans would get ‘zero.’
April 11, 2024

O.J. Simpson Dies of Cancer at 76, Family Says

The family said that Simpson ‘succumbed to his battle with cancer.’
April 11, 2024

Shohei Ohtani’s Interpreter Stole $16 Million to Cover Gambling Losses, Feds Say

Authorities detailed how Ippei Mizuhara hid bank transfers from Ohtani.
Sponsored

Rapid Returns: How Technology Is Getting You Back to Your Seat

How Oracle’s POS technology is helping fans get back to their seats faster.
April 10, 2024

Shohei Ohtani’s Interpreter Pleading Guilty to New Charges, per Report

Ippei Mizuhara is said to have lost over $4.5M of Ohtani’s money.
April 9, 2024

Texans Minority Owner Accused of Rape Pleads Down to $100 Fine

Loya had faced seven counts, including first-degree rape.
April 5, 2024

‘Baseless Corporate Conspiracy’: Hedge Fund Heats Up Feud Between NBA Owners

The Mat Ishbia–Dan Gilbert feud has exploded into view this week.
April 4, 2024

Former Tottenham Owner Avoids Jail Time in ‘Brazen’ Insider Trading Case

Joe Lewis gets three years’ probation and a $5 million fine.