San Jose Newsbeat
Friday, October 11, 2013
AN JOSE—A federal judge Friday dismissed San Jose’s antitrust claims against Major League Baseball over the Oakland A’s stalled relocation plan but allowed the city to pursue a contract interference case.
Saturday, October 05, 2013
Who cares about post-season baseball? MLB is engaging in exciting legal action this October!
Judge Whyte began the proceedings with questions about the existence and scope of baseball’s antitrust exemption. It was clear from his questions that the judge had read the motion papers and the case law in detail. He was prepared with pointed questions for both sides.
Joe Cotchett, who represents the City, addressed the court first. Cotchett argued that the U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts have narrowed the exemption significantly, and that it now covers only the “business of baseball.” Cotchett then argued that the “business of baseball” is limited to “the play on the field” and does not include matters relating to team location and relocation.
John Keker argued for MLB. He told the court that the exemption was alive and well and that the “business of baseball” includes — at a minimum — league structure and organization, franchise location, broadcast agreements, and revenue sharing….
If I were a betting woman — and I am not — I would wager that Judge Whyte will dismiss the federal antitrust claims, either based on lack of standing or the antitrust exemption, or both. I’m less sure where his thinking is on the state law claims — both on the question of his jurisdiction to decide them if he dismisses the federal claims and on the merits of the claims. It is unusual for a court to dismiss a case outright on a motion to dismiss, without providing the plaintiff an opportunity to re-state its claims in light of the court’s decision. Unusual, but not unheard of.
Wednesday, July 03, 2013
This last question is raised by the lawsuit recently filed against the league by San Jose. The city wants to build a downtown ballpark to host the Oakland Athletics, a fine team playing in a mausoleum that is less than two-thirds full on a good day.
The city complains that the league has blocked the A’s relocation, relying on an old agreement placing San Jose’s home county of Santa Clara within the exclusive “operating territory” of the San Francisco Giants.
San Jose’s move to the courthouse puts baseball Commissioner Bud Selig in a tight spot. He can allow the A’s to move, thus sparking the Giants’ ire and possibly opening the door to a land rush of ballclubs looking for more lucrative homes. Or he can resist, placing the league’s antitrust exemption at risk in a trial. For four years he’s been promising to decide whether to allow the owners to vote on the San Jose plan, with very little visible resolution.
the above is from the article. I don’t know how to highlight that part anymore since the submission process is still confusing to me. anyway, maury brown is quoted later in the article.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
When Liquid Plumr failed to clear things up, the city filed suit.
The lawsuit argues MLB’s decree that the San Francisco Giants have exclusive territorial rights to San Jose, which the defending World Series champions refuse to relinquish, constitutes unlawful restraint of trade.
“For years, MLB has unlawfully conspired to control the location and relocation of major league men’s professional baseball clubs under the guise of an ‘antitrust exemption’ applied to the business of baseball,” said the 44-page complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose. The suit, which accuses MLB of a “blatant conspiracy,” is being handled at no cost to the city by the Burlingame law firm of Joseph W. Cotchett, which has handled some of the largest antitrust cases in the nation and represented the NFL in similar litigation. ...
“Whereas baseball may have started as a local affair,” the lawsuit said, “modern baseball is squarely within the realm of interstate commerce. MLB Clubs ply their wares nationwide, games are broadcast throughout the country on satellite TV and radio, as well as cable channels, and MLB Clubs have fan bases that span from coast to coast.”
But lower court rulings on the exemption since the early 1970s have gone both ways, leaving it unclear how the Supreme Court might rule if it chose to revisit the issue.
“Since the law is so murky, there’s no uncontroversial answer,” said Stuart Banner, who teaches law at the University of California, Los Angeles and has just written a book, The Baseball Trust, a History of Baseball’s Antitrust Exemption. “It all depends on which group of cases you think is more persuasive.”
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