Antitrust and Sports Equipment Standards: Winners and Whiners
John E. Lopatka
Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Law
June 2, 2009
Antitrust Bulliten, Vol. 54, No. 4, 2009
Sports governing bodies routinely adopt equipment standards because equipment can have a dramatic impact on performance. Standards and rules set in relation to human capacity define a sport. Because standards by nature are restrictive, equipment producers stand to lose if their products do not conform. Excluded producers sometimes challenge standards on antitrust grounds. This paper explores the economics of sports equipment standard setting and the merits of the antitrust challenge. It concludes that except in the rare case in which the governing body is itself a victim of a boycott, standard setting decisions should be lawful per se.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 67
Keywords: Antitrust, sports, boycott
JEL Classification: K21, L41, L83
Date posted: June 2, 2009 ; Last revised: June 10, 2010
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