SCOTUS slaps down NFL

NFL logoIn a unanimous vote, the Supreme Court denied the National Football League its goal of broad protection from antitrust suits.  The high court ruled on a case involving a license for making souvenir caps and sent to back to a lower court to further consideration allegations by a smaller company that challenged the league’s 10-year exclusive deal with ReebokLaw Professor Keith Hylton, an authority on antitrust law, says it is understandable that the court would be reluctant to expand the “single entity” concept to include the NFL.  Meantime, Sports Journalism Professor Frank Shorr says this could be the “watershed moment.”

Keith Hylton:

“‘Single entity’ status implies exemption from Section 1 of the Sherman Act, and the Court is reluctant to create broad exemptions to Section 1 when the effects may not be entirely clear.”

Contact: Keith Hylton, 617-353-8959, knhylton@bu.edu

Frank Shorr:

“It will be interesting to see if the court now expands it’s view of the National Football League’s long-standing policies.  Today it’s hats. Tomorrow, who knows — uniforms, helmets, wrist bands — anything that they can make a profit on and not have to share.  We could be looking back on this decision in the not-to-distant future and saying, that was the watershed moment.”

Contact: Frank Shorr, 617-353-5163, fshorr@bu.edu

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