Comment On The Supreme Court’s Decision In American Needle Inc. v. National Football League

[The Supreme Court today issued a ruling in American Needle, Inc., v. National Football League.  In a unanimous decision, the Court reversed the Seventh Circuit and held that NFL teams can be held liable for agreements among League members that constitute an unreasonable restraint of trade.]

“The Court’s unanimous decision will ensure that the antitrust laws apply to concerted actions by teams of the National Football League.  This ruling is a rare win for sports fans, and in fact for all Americans who value competition in the marketplace.      

“Going forward, the sale of team merchandise and tickets will be subject to the antitrust laws and set by competitive factors, not agreements in restraint of trade.  The antitrust laws promote competition, which enables consumers to pay lower prices and receive more choices.  Justice Stevens, writing for a unanimous Court, has again recognized the impact of the Court’s rulings in pocket-book cases affecting hardworking Americans.  Our federal antitrust laws are designed to preserve a competitive marketplace, and today’s Court decision emphasizes the importance of these laws in protecting consumers.”

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