14 for 14: No. 1 the UFC antitrust lawsuit

January 1, 2015

In a lawsuit that may change the structure of the UFC and the MMA business as a whole, fighters have sued Zuffa for alleged violations of section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.  The fighters intend to seek class action status as 5 law firms have joined together to represent the plaintiffs.

The UFC recently retained Boise Schiller & Flexner to defend itself in the lawsuit.

Attorneys for the UFC have yet to file responsive briefing in the three lawsuits filed by 7 fighters (so far) that claim that the UFC was both a monopoly and monopsony in violation of antitrust laws as it suppressed fighter pay as well as other incentives that the fighters believe that they could have received but for the UFC’s business practices.

The dollar amount of what the plaintiffs are seeking has not been identified and will not be until economists  and other experts opine about the issue.  But, under the antitrust laws, the plaintiffs may seek three times the actual amount of damages proven.

Payout Perspective:

Unless the UFC can get the lawsuit dismissed or the parties somehow decide to settle, we probably will see this go through 2015 with no resolution.  Recall, the Zuffa lawsuit filed against New York in 2011 is still pending a summary judgment motion with no trial date set. This lawsuit will be one to watch and if it gets to the discovery phase, we could see some damaging documents (i.e, Zuffa emails, financial information, etc.) which could turn out to be a public relations disaster.  On the other end, look for Zuffa lawyers to paint the plaintiffs as malcontents looking to make a “quick buck” because they were never good enough to make it in the UFC.

But even before we get to the juicy stuff, there may be some procedural hurdles that the plaintiffs may need to go through.  2015 will certainly be a year to brush up on the terms monopoly and monopsony.

14 for 14:

2.  UFC-Reebok announce uniform deal

3.  Bellator 131/Bellator on PPV

4.  Zuffa downgraded by Standard & Poor’s

5.  CM Punk signs with the UFC

6.  Rebney replaced by Coker

7.  UFC Fight Pass a success in first year?

8.  TRT banned by NAC, UFC

9.  UFC PPVs down

10.  WSOF airs on NBC

11.  UFC continues global expansion

12.  Rousey wins CSAC arbitration against Fight Tribe

13.  Cung Le drug suspension overturned

14.  Gil re-signs with the UFC

Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.