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Levin v. National Basketball Association

385 F. Supp. 149 (S.D.N.Y. 1974)

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Levin v. National Basketball Association

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

385 F. Supp. 149 (S.D.N.Y. 1974)

Facts

Irving Levin and an associate (collectively, the buyers) (plaintiffs) were two businessmen who entered an agreement to buy the Boston Celtics basketball team, which was one of 17 teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA) (defendant). Any transfer of ownership of an NBA team required an affirmative vote of three-quarters of the NBA through each team’s designated governor. Following two separate votes, only two governors voted in favor of approving the buyers’ ownership application, while 13 opposed. Most NBA team owners were seemingly uncomfortable with the buyers’ associations with the current owner of the Seattle SuperSonics, Sam Schulman. The NBA claimed that the business association between the buyers and Schulman was a conflict of interest. The buyers sold their rights in the Celtics and sued the NBA alleging violations of antitrust laws. The NBA filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that its acts had no anticompetitive intent or effect.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Owen, J.)

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