Cohen Milstein represents plaintiffs in two related class action suits alleging that the territorial broadcast schemes used by Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League violate the Sherman Act. According to the complaints, each league, along with their respective clubs, Comcast, and DirecTV, have agreed to allocate divide the United States into exclusive territories, creating local monopolies for each club and its television partner in exchange for an agreement not to compete in other clubs’ markets. These agreements, Plaintiffs allege, have had the anticompetitive effect of raising prices and restricting consumer choice.
The two cases, Garber v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, No. 12-cv-3704, and Laumann v. National Hockey League, No. 12-cv-1817, are pending in the District Court for the Southern District of New York. Most recently, the district court denied Defendants’ motion for summary judgment, finding that Defendants’ rationales for their market allocation scheme were “far from compelling” and that Plaintiffs’ arguments in opposition were “equally plausible (if not more plausible).” Prior to that ruling, the district court had largely denied Defendants’ motions to dismiss and compel arbitration.