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date: 19 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Competition law generally requires competitors who agree on restraints of trade to justify their agreements as procompetitive when market forces create the potential for consumer exploitation. This analysis, known as the Rule of Reason (from its common law origins), does not apply to internal agreements within a single firm. The U.S. Supreme Court has characterized sports league policies as agreements among club owners who control the league, rather than unilateral decisions of a single entity. Opponents of the application of the Rule of Reason continue to seek doctrinal shields against judicial review of anticompetitive sports rules, and this chapter explains why such an approach is unsound competition policy.

Keywords: antitrust, competition policy, sports leagues, sports governance, single entity, Rule of Reason

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