MasterCard International Inc. v. Fédération Internationale de Football Association

464 F. Supp. 2d 246 (2006), 239 Fed. App’x 625 (2007)

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MasterCard International Inc. v. Fédération Internationale de Football Association

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
464 F. Supp. 2d 246 (2006), 239 Fed. App’x 625 (2007)

Facts

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) (defendant) contracted with MasterCard International Inc. (MasterCard) (plaintiff) to sponsor the FIFA World Cup. This world-renowned once-every-four-years soccer tournament was possibly the most-watched sporting event globally. Under the contract, MasterCard had the first rights to renew the sponsorship provided MasterCard matched any competing offer from another potential sponsor. When the time to renew the contract arrived, FIFA engaged in deception, lack of transparency, bad faith, and favoritism to a competing company, VISA, in awarding the new sponsorship contract to VISA even though MasterCard had agreed to all terms set by FIFA. MasterCard filed a breach of contract action against FIFA, asking the court to void FIFA’s contract with VISA and specific performance to enforce the contract terms MasterCard had agreed to with FIFA. MasterCard and FIFA agreed that Swiss contract law applied. Both parties offered multiple experts on how Swiss contract law must be interpreted.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Preska, J.)

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