NPR : News

Filed Under:

MLB Warns Of 'Absurd' Results Of San Jose's Antitrust Suit

Calling a lawsuit's potential results "absurd" for cities around the United States, Major League Baseball asked a federal judge to dismiss a challenge to its antitrust exemption filed by San Jose, Calif. The city filed the suit to press its case for relocating the Oakland A's there.

NPR's Richard Gonzales filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Lawyers for Major League Baseball say San Jose's lawsuit is barred by nearly a century of established law that exempts the sport from an antitrust challenge. San Jose filed suit in June, claiming injury because baseball commissioner Bud Selig has dragged his feet deciding whether the Oakland A's can move to San Jose.

"The Silicon Valley city claims that it is losing revenue and potential jobs tied to building a new stadium for the team. But baseball's lawyers argue that San Jose has no standing since baseball never had a relationship with the city — and that if San Jose were allowed to sue Major League Baseball, then so could any other city in the country that wants a baseball team."

If the city's claim is upheld, MLB attorney John Keker said in a court filing Wednesday, "it would lead to absurd results: every time a franchise contemplated relocation, MLB would be subjected to suits from any city that desires a team and from any city that does not want to lose a team."

Keker's view was cited in The San Jose Mercury News, which also notes that the Oakland A's owner, Lew Wolff, is in favor of moving the team to San Jose.

As Gonzales reports, a court hearing on the lawsuit is expected in October.

Baseball was granted an antitrust exemption back in 1922, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Major League Baseball "was not subject to the Sherman Act because it was intrastate 'entertainment,' not 'commerce,' " a 2005 article on the DC Bar's website notes.

"By virtue of the exemption, coupled with decades of reluctance of various courts to overrule, baseball is the only sport, or business for that matter, that has an exemption to the extent that it does," according to ESPN.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

#NPRreads: 4 Eye-Opening Stories To Read This Weekend

A medical mystery that started in Brazil. Nairobi's bustling food scene. Women and guns. And the man behind a new literary movement.
NPR

Dinner With A Side Of I Do's: For Restaurants, Proposals Are Good Business

Marriage proposals are pretty routine at America's high-end restaurants. They can lift the mood in the entire dining room, boost tips and create lifelong customers. Unless the answer is "no," that is.
NPR

In Trump's German Ancestral Village, The Locals Are Not Impressed

"Ich bin ein Kallstadter," Donald Trump likes to say. But many of the villagers are more proud of other famous American descendants with links to Kallstadt: the Heinz family, of ketchup fame.
NPR

Colonialism Comment Puts Facebook Under Scrutiny

A Facebook board member lambasted a decision by regulators in India, the social network's second-largest market. He thereby sparked new scrutiny of Facebook's intentions in that country.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.