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Robertson v. National Basketball Association
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
389 F. Supp. 867 (1975)
A group of professional basketball players (the players) (plaintiffs), on behalf of all active players in the National Basketball Association, sued the National Basketball Association and the American Basketball Association (collectively, the leagues) (defendants). There were reports that the leagues were proposing to merge. The players alleged that the leagues were conspiring to restrain competition for the services and skills of professional basketball players through various means, including the college draft system, using a reserve clause in player contracts, and boycotting and blacklisting players. The operative complaint alleged violations of antitrust laws based on a plan or conspiracy to monopolize professional basketball, including through the proposed merger. On a motion for summary judgment, the leagues argued that the players’ complaints were labor issues for collective bargaining and that the leagues as employers were exempt from antitrust laws.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Carter, J.)
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