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Congress Member Questions MLB Antitrust Exemption

Jun 15, 2023

A federal legislator sees the Oakland A’s relocation effort as an opportunity to call MLB’s long-standing antitrust exemption into question.

On Monday, Oakland’s Rep. Barbara Lee sent a letter to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred pointedly asking if the league’s federal antitrust exemption is appropriate in light of the league’s encouragement in moving the A’s to Las Vegas — particularly Manfred’s promise to waive the team’s relocation fee.

Lee cited Manfred’s July 2022 letter to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, in which she claims he “volunteered that ‘The MLB antitrust exemption helps ensure that MLB Clubs maintain deep and enduring relationships with their fan bases, whereas franchises in other sports regularly relocate from one market to another.’”

“MLB’s continued active encouragement of the A’s abandonment of Oakland and the East Bay runs counter to the rationale supporting MLB’s century-old exemption from federal antitrust law,” Lee added.

Source: Front Office Sports

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