Polish Competition Authority investigates suspected collusion among basketball teams

Basketball player finishing with a layup
Friday, 25 June 2021 By Anna Laszczyk, Jason Shardlow-Wrest

The Polish Competition Authority (PCA) is investigating the behaviour of the Polish Basketball League (PBL) and sixteen of its member clubs.[1] The PCA suspects that the PBL and the clubs jointly agreed on changes to employment contracts with basketball players at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland which meant that the agreements with players were to be terminated after 19 March 2020.[2] The clubs also agreed to withhold the players’ remunerations.

The legal relationship between clubs and players continues to be under the antitrust spotlight.

This article examines:

  • the PCA’s investigation into the basketball teams’ allegedly anticompetitive practices;
  • Consequences if an infringement is found;
  • the trend of the continuing focus and application of competition law to sports stakeholders; and
  • the lessons to be learned particularly in the context of the financial pressures flowing from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Written by

Anna Laszczyk

Anna Laszczyk

Anna is a Managing Associate in the Linklaters Warsaw office, specialising in Antitrust and Foreign Investment.

Jason Shardlow-Wrest

Jason Shardlow-Wrest

Managing Associate, Linklaters

Jason Shardlow-Wrest is an English law-qualified dispute resolution lawyer at Linklaters. He has a wide-ranging practice in litigation and arbitration matters, including advising domestic and international clients on complex commercial and competition litigation issues. His experience in sports includes advising on the application and interpretation of broadcasting contracts in the context of COVID-19.

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