Is There Life after Death for Sports League Immunity? American Needle and Beyond
22 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2011 Last revised: 25 Oct 2011
Date Written: 2011
American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League decisively rejected the argument that a professional sports league is a “single entity” exempt from Section I antitrust scrutiny, yet this immunity argument had barely been interred before some commentators sought to articulate alternative grounds for immunizing sports leagues and other joint ventures from scrutiny. This Essay argues that these new theories of sports league immunity – one of them based on American Needle itself, and another rooted in an enigmatic statement by the Supreme Court, in Texaco Inc. v. Dagher, about the “core functions” of joint ventures – are inconsistent with both American Needle and with bedrock principles of antitrust law.
Keywords: American Needle, antitrust, single entity, joint venture
JEL Classification: K21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation