In 1890, Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act to protect competition in the marketplace. Federal antitrust law has developed to prevent businesses from exerting unfair power on their employees and customers. Specifically, the Sherman Act prevents competitors from reaching unreasonable agreements amongst themselves and from monopolizing markets. However, not all industries have these protections.
Historically, federal antitrust law has not governed the “Business of Baseball.” The Supreme Court had the opportunity to apply antitrust law to baseball in Federal Baseball Club, Incorporated v. National League of Professional Baseball Clubs; however, the Court held that the Business of Baseball was not interstate commerce and thus not subject to federal antitrust law. The Supreme Court upheld this stance twice more in Toolson v. N.Y. Yankees, Incorporated and Flood v. Kuhn. Further, the Supreme Court held that, if baseball was to become subject to antitrust law, Congress must be the party to enact such a change. In 1998, Congress passed the Curt Flood Act (“Flood Act”). The Flood Act applied antitrust law to certain aspects of baseball while explicitly not including other aspects, such as the employment of minor league baseball players.
This Comment argues that Congress should act again and pass legislation to apply federal antitrust law to minor league baseball. This Comment will analyze the low wages of minor leaguers and the impact that MLB’s antitrust law immunity has on those conditions. Further, this Comment argues that the rule of reason is the proper test for courts to apply to cases brought by minor leaguers. While this Comment does not predict the outcome of such cases, it argues that the true value of the application of antitrust law is the ability for minor leaguers to bring suits at all.
Antitrust Changeup: How a Single Antitrust Reform Could Be A Home Run for Minor League Baseball Players,
Dick. L. Rev.
Available at: https://ideas.dickinsonlaw.psu.edu/dlr/vol125/iss1/7
Antitrust and Trade Regulation Commons, Business Administration, Management, and Operations Commons, Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics Commons, Business Organizations Law Commons, Civil Law Commons, Civil Procedure Commons, Collective Bargaining Commons, Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Commons, Judges Commons, Jurisdiction Commons, Jurisprudence Commons, Legal History Commons, Legal Profession Commons, Legal Writing and Research Commons, Legislation Commons, Litigation Commons, Other Business Commons, Recreation Business Commons, Sports Management Commons, Supreme Court of the United States Commons, Unions Commons