BREAKING: Weil, Gotshal & Manges Files Lawsuit Challenging MLB's Antitrust Exemption

Dec 20, 2021

Weil, Gotshal & Manges, led by its current and former litigation co-chairs, has sued Major League Baseball in a direct challenge to its long-recognized exemption from antitrust scrutiny.

The lawsuit, filed Monday morning in Manhattan federal court, targeted MLB over a controversial takeover of the league’s farm system, which eliminated the major league affiliations of 40 Minor League Baseball, or MiLB, teams.

Under the new arrangement, MLB and its 30 clubs agreed to reorganize MiLB into just four leagues and reduce the number of minor teams they’re each affiliated with.
The 33-page complaint argued that the move, announced last year, was a “naked, horizontal agreement to cement MLB’s dominance over all professional baseball,” and possibly set the stage for the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider a 1922 decision holding that baseball leagues were not subject to the Sherman Act.

The court-created carve-out, however, has often been criticized for essentially allowing MLB to operate as a monopoly, though Congress has never acted to remove the protection.

Source: Tom McParland at Law.com