Defining the 'Business of Baseball': A Proposed Framework for Determining the Scope of Professional Baseball's Antitrust Exemption
67 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2009 Last revised: 22 Dec 2010
Date Written: January 6, 2010
This article proposes a new analytical framework for determining the proper scope of professional baseball’s antitrust exemption, an issue that has generated surprisingly little scholarly analysis to date. Specifically, the article finds that lower courts have applied the exemption in widely divergent ways, due to a misunderstanding, and in some cases a misinterpretation, of the underlying focus of the United States Supreme Court’s opinions first creating and affirming the exemption. The article argues that future courts should reject the existing lower court precedent, and instead, consistent with the often overlooked focus of the Supreme Court’s decisions, hold that the baseball exemption protects only those activities directly related to the business of providing baseball entertainment to the public.
Keywords: baseball, sports, MLB, sports law, antitrust, exemption, franchise location, franchise relocation, Federal Baseball, Flood, Kuhn, Toolson, Piazza, broadcasting, minor leagues, rule making, labor relations, players, umpires, MLB antitrust exemption, baseball antitrust exemption
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