Court grants Haymon’s dismissal of Golden Boy’s antitrust lawsuit
January 26, 2017
Judge John Walter issued an order granting Al Haymon’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed Golden Boy’s antitrust lawsuit filed in federal court in Los Angeles on May 5, 2015. The case was set to go to trial in March.
In his 25-page opinion filed on Thursday, Judge Walter determined that Golden Boy did not come forth with genuine issues of fact to support its claims that Haymon’s promotion, Premier Boxing Champions, foreclosed the market on boxers and other promotions among other antitrust violations. Moreover, it determined that Golden Boy’s injury “was caused by conduct that was beneficial to competition in the promotion market.”
The judge noted that Haymon’s business strategy actually helped boxing with more televised matches and better pay for fighters.
The opinion noted that the tv strategy of securing deals with multiple networks implemented by PBC did not foreclose all networks. It also pointed to the fact that Golden Boy expert’s did not provide an examination of recoupment of money of PBC’s purported strategy of “flipping” its business model from tv buys to securing license fees.
It also was not persuaded by Golden Boy’s claims of “sham” promoters that aided PBC nor the alleged “firewall” between promoters and managers. The court found no evidence that boxers were coerced into working with promoters. Moreover, the judge noted that PBC worked with other promoters. In the latter claim, the Judge wrote that there was no antitrust injury because there was no standing. Only boxers and governmental agencies may make the claim per the Ali Act.
In its conclusion, it noted that antitrust laws protect competition, not competitors.
— Jason Cruz (@dilletaunt) January 27, 2017
In reading the opinion, one might be concerned with the UFC antitrust lawsuit. The court stressed the issue that antitrust laws protect competition, not competitors. Despite the speculation that Haymon’s PBC attempted to foreclose the market on competitors, there was no evidence found by the court which conflicted with antitrust laws. The court determined that Golden Boy did not define the relevant markets and did not establish a “tie in” or “tie out” which may have been a violation of antitrust laws. Based on the opinion, it is unlikely that Golden Boy appeals this decision.