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Antitrust and Sports Equipment Standards: Winners and Whiners

John E. Lopatka

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

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Date posted: June 2, 2009 ; Last revised: June 10, 2010

Suggested Citation

Lopatka, John E., Antitrust and Sports Equipment Standards: Winners and Whiners (June 2, 2009). Antitrust Bulliten, Vol. 54, No. 4, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1413172

Contact Information

John E. Lopatka (Contact Author)
Penn State Law ( email )
337 Katz Building
University Park, PA 16802
United States
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