Antitrust Analysis of Sports Leagues

347 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2007

Date Written: October 12, 2007


I present an overview of the antitrust literature on sports leagues, with particular emphasis on the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League, as well as on sanctioning organizations such as NASCAR. I review the major antitrust court decisions, the commentaries of the leading antitrust experts on these decisions, and the extensive sports economics literature touching on issues raised in these cases, particularly empirical studies assessing the anticompetitive and procompetitive effects of various league rules and policies. I also review the broader industrial organization literature on issues such as factors affecting the stability of joint ventures. I conclude with a summary of proposals for addressing the monopoly power of sports leagues.

Keywords: antitrust, sports leagues, NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR

JEL Classification: D21, D40, D42, K21, L10, L12, L40, L83

Suggested Citation

Pelnar, Gregory J., Antitrust Analysis of Sports Leagues (October 12, 2007). Available at SSRN: or

Gregory J. Pelnar (Contact Author)

Compass Lexecon ( email )

332 South Michigan Avenue
Suite 1300
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

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