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The Antitrust Week In Review

Posted  August 1, 2023

Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.


NCAA must face volunteer coaches’ antitrust lawsuits over pay, US judge says.  A U.S. judge on Thursday said the governing body for American intercollegiate sports must face a pair of class actions in California that claim curbs on compensation for thousands of volunteer coaches violated federal antitrust law. In a court ruling, U.S. District Judge William Shubb in Sacramento rejected the effort by the National Collegiate Athletic Association to dismiss the two related cases. The lawsuits were filed in November and March in federal court by two prospective classes of volunteer coaches in baseball and in other sports — including soccer, swimming and track and field — between 2019 and 2023. Each case seeks damages of more than $5 million.


NFL tells US judge no evidence supports ‘Sunday Ticket’ antitrust trial.  The National Football League and its teams have asked a U.S. judge to find there is no evidence to justify holding a multibillion-dollar trial alleging the exclusive “Sunday Ticket” package of televised games violates U.S. antitrust law. In a key pretrial filing, lawyers for the NFL argued in a Los Angeles federal court that residential and commercial subscribers had failed to prove the league’s licensing agreement for Sunday Ticket harmed competition.


Microsoft in EU antitrust crosshairs over Teams, Office tie-up.  Microsoft has found itself the target of an European Union antitrust investigation over the bundling of its chat and video app Teams with its Office product, putting it at risk of a hefty fine. The U.S. tech giant has racked up 2.2 billion euros ($2.5 billion) in EU antitrust fines in the previous decade for practices in breach of EU competition rules, including tying or bundling two or more products together.


UK regulator seeks public input on Microsoft-Activision deal.  Britain’s antitrust regulator called for public responses on whether Microsoft’s $69 billion takeover of Activision Blizzard, maker of video game “Call of Duty”, should be cleared ahead of a final decision by Aug. 29. Microsoft says the deal, which the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) blocked in April, should be revisited given legally-binding commitments to the European Commission and a licensing deal with Sony.


Edited by Gary J. Malone