In a recent article, Jason S. Kaner and Joseph M. Hanna, members of Goldberg Segalla’s Sports and Entertainment practice group, provided analysis on the PGA and LIV Golf merger, building upon their previous piece titled The Looming Legal Showdown Set To Change Golf’s Course. Jason and Joe explored the potential composition of the new golf entity, the status of ongoing litigation, and the remaining antitrust issues.
LIV Golf filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour last summer, accusing it of being a monopoly that leveraged its power to stifle competition. In response, the PGA Tour countersued, claiming that LIV Golf had interfered with player contracts. However, the parties recently reached a settlement to resolve the litigation. “Was the PGA advised it would lose the pending lawsuit, so it cut a deal? Perhaps it realized that it had an indefensible legal position and risked being exposed as a monopoly,” Jason and Joe speculated in the article.
They further noted, “Given the limited details about the new entity, the proposed alliance between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf raises complex antitrust concerns.” While the National Basketball Association and National Football League both experienced mergers in the 70’s, they did so with “congressional provisions for special antitrust exemptions… While certainly not a priority, the proposed merger will undoubtedly receive enhanced scrutiny at the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission.”
Joe and Jason emphasized, “While the merger ends the ongoing litigation, it does not quash the question of monopoly power in professional golf. The proposed deal raises complex antitrust concerns due to limited details about the new entity and its structure.”
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: “The PGA Tour-LIV Golf Merger Ramifications For Both Parties,” Law360, June 12, 2023
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