The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
NCAA faces new lawsuit over athletes’ drive for compensation. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has been sued in Colorado federal court for allegedly depriving student players of billions of dollars in compensation from televised broadcasts of college athletics. Former University of Colorado football player Alex Fontenot said in the prospective class action that the college sports governing body and a group of regional school conferences have unlawfully denied compensation to athletes that they would otherwise receive in a competitive market. “Just as the schools compete for coaches by paying higher salaries, they would also compete for athletes by paying higher compensation,” the lawsuit alleged.
The complaint said the NCAA conferences and member schools “are raking in billions in television and other revenue without sharing a dime of it with the athletes.”
Kraft, others to seek damages after winning US egg-pricing verdict. Kraft, General Mills and other major food companies persuaded a federal jury in Chicago that top U.S. egg producers are liable for unlawfully inflating prices, paving the way for a second trial to determine damages. The verdict followed a more than five-week antitrust trial against a group of egg producers including Cal-Maine Foods, the country’s largest egg producer and distributor, and Rose Acre, the second-largest, over claims that they had “rigged” the market by conspiring to charge artificially high prices.
US FTC probes $10 bln private equity deal for Subway – report. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating whether Roark Capital’s purchase of Subway for $10 billion is legal under antitrust law given that the private equity firm already owns Jimmy John’s and Arby’s, Politico reported. The probe highlights the fact that the Biden administration’s antitrust enforcers are focusing their efforts on basic consumer goods. Private equity acquisitions have been another focus. The FTC is investigating whether buying Subway would give Roark too much power in fast food, the report said, citing sources familiar with the matter. Roark controls Inspire Brands, the owner of restaurant chains including Jimmy John’s, Arby’s, Baskin-Robbins and Buffalo Wild Wings.
Live Nation issued subpoena regarding ticketing, fees by US Senate panel. Live Nation and its subsidiary Ticketmaster is being sent a subpoena for documents regarding ticket pricing, fees and secondary sales, a U.S. Senate panel said. Ticketmaster, which for decades has been criticized for hardball tactics and high prices, took a new round of rhetorical beatings around this time last year after botched ticket sales for Taylor Swift’s “Eras” tour. “Live Nation has egregiously stonewalled my Subcommittee’s inquiry into its abusive consumer practices — making the subpoena necessary,” Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democratic chair of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, said in a statement.
Edited by Gary J. Malone