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Antitrust Issues in Professional Sports

Learn about antitrust issues that are unique to professional sports, including whether professional leagues are single or multiple entities.


Professional sports leagues are subject to federal antitrust laws, including the Sherman Antitrust Act. When a professional sports league faces an antitrust challenge, courts typically use a rule-of-reason analysis, rather than a per se analysis, to determine if there was a violation under the Sherman Act. Courts justify the use of the rule of reason rather than the per se rule in sports because the nature of professional and amateur sports requires collaboration between entities for leagues...