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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

Jason is an English law-qualified dispute resolution lawyer and Managing Associate at Linklaters. He has a broad practice in litigation matters, including advising domestic and international clients on complex and high value commercial and competition litigation issues. His experience in sports includes advising a number of different sporting stakeholders on wide-ranging issues, including matters of competition law, as well as the application and interpretation of broadcasting contracts in the context of COVID-19.


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