MLB seeks pre-trial appeal & plaintiffs seek class certification in anti-trust broadcasting litigationJoseph M. Hanna
On Wednesday August 27, 2014, the MLB1 filed a motion for immediate interlocutory appeal2 with Judge Scheindlin in the Southern District of New York, seeking permission to appeal her recent order3 in their current antitrust litigation case.
The MLB’s geographically based broadcasting restrictions are currently being challenged in the SDNY by irate fans who are tired of blackout restrictions and the high prices of streaming games online. Earlier this month, Judge Scheindlin ruled against the MLB’s motion for summary judgment, holding that the oft-cited antitrust exemption did not apply to the MLB, allowing the claims to go forward to trial.
The motion to file an emergency appeal was filed to avoid costly and timely litigation that may prove to be irrelevant. The MLB argues in their motion that there is “substantial ground for difference of opinion” regarding whether the antitrust exemption applies to Major League Baseball. The league also cites to at least six Supreme Court decisions upholding the application of the antitrust exemption, claiming the established case law presents a pure question of law that “may materially advance the ultimate termination of the litigation.”
This development comes only one day after the plaintiffs in this action and the plaintiffs in a similar action against the National Hockey League sought certification for class treatment. The plaintiffs argued that the several cases are identical and seek the same relief: ending restrictions, blackouts, and overcharging due to anticompetitive broadcasting practices.
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- Tags: Baseball | Broadcasting | Competition Law | Major League Baseball (MLB) | National Hockey League (NHL) | Supreme Court | United States of America (USA)
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