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NCAA Antitrust Case

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Litigation of antitrust cases frequently involve law firms and their clients going up against some of the biggest corporations in the world. It can often be a true David vs. Goliath battle, but if you have the right attorney on your side, you can pull off the upset and secure the compensation you deserve.

For a better understanding of how a successful antitrust case can be built, let’s take the recent case against the NCAA for example.

In August of last year, a federal judge ruled that the NCAA violated antitrust laws by not allowing its college athletes to receive compensation for the use of their names and likenesses. The NCAA rakes in billions in profits by using player’s names and likenesses to sell video games, memorabilia and TV broadcasts. The players never see a dime of that money. The lawsuit was brought by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon.

The court ruled that the NCAA’s rules were anticompetitive. U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken ruled that the NCAA’s actions violated the Sherman Antitrust Act, the backbone of antitrust law. 

In a key portion of the ruling, Wilken said that a group market exists for players’ likenesses, as well as for television broadcasts, athletes’ names and their images. By preventing O’Bannon and others from collecting revenue on the use of such likenesses, the NCAA operated like a monopoly, the ruling said. Wilken said such restraints were harmful to college athletes, the majority of whom never play sports professionally after graduation.

Judge Wilken wrote that when a recruit decides to play at a school, the school provides tuition, room and board and book expenses, which are too little or no cost to the school. In return, Wilken wrote, the recruit gives the school his athletic performance and the use of his name, image and likeness, which can be quite profitable.

In her decision, Wilken said:

“However, the schools agree to value the latter at zero by agreeing not to compete with each other to credit any other value to the recruit in this exchange. This is an anticompetitive effect.”

Why Antitrust Laws Matter

The idea behind antitrust law is that there needs to be vigorous competition in every market. This extends from complex cases like that of the NCAA and its student athletes to cases of price fixing. When sellers busily compete against one another, no one seller is able to take unfair advantage of the buyers – people like you.

Enforcement of antitrust laws and successful antitrust cases force businesses to stay honest and strive to improve their goods and services to get ahead in the economy.This all greatly benefits consumers and society as a whole.

Our team of proven and passionate anti-trust attorneys knows how to fight these cases.We handle antitrust cases throughout Alabama and nationwide. Call us today at 866-515-8880 or contact us online.


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