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View Full Version : What exactly is the anti-trust exemption?


downstairs
09-21-2006, 07:17 AM
Sorry for my ignorance, but Iíve always wondered, but never found any good information on this. What exactly is the MLB anti-trust exemption? More importantly- what does it allow MLB to do that is so different than other sports?

I suppose one of the main reasons I ask is that baseball doesnít seem that differently run than other sports (other than some having good commissioners, some bad.)

David Stern seems to be able to do anything he wants unilaterally, but he doesnít have any government exemption?

What am I missing?

Oblong
09-21-2006, 07:32 AM
For one, they would be allowed to collude. Right now they can't because it's negotiated that way with the player's association.

Nellie_Fox
09-21-2006, 10:14 AM
One good quick example is when Al Davis wanted to move the Raiders from Oakland to LA, the NFL voted no, and he did it anyway. The courts sided with him, saying that the league couldn't tell him how to run his business to that extent.

However, the MLB anti-trust exemption would allow them to tell a team owner that he can't move his team wherever he wants, and require approval.

Hangar18
09-21-2006, 10:25 AM
This is where the owners get to play the board game Monopoly in real life.

The Immigrant
09-21-2006, 11:07 AM
This "exemption" was created by the Supreme Court in a 1922 decision, where the Court found that baseball did not constitute interstate commerce :?:. Everyone realizes the exemption is a joke, since Major League Baseball clearly engages in interstate commerce, but the Supreme Court has not had an opportunity to overrule its prior precedent. Because Congress is free to pass legislation that abolishes this judicially-created exemption, you will hear politicians threatening MLB with this possibility every once in a while.

soxfanatlanta
09-21-2006, 11:35 AM
Sorry for my ignorance, but Iíve always wondered, but never found any good information on this. What exactly is the MLB anti-trust exemption? More importantly- what does it allow MLB to do that is so different than other sports?

I suppose one of the main reasons I ask is that baseball doesnít seem that differently run than other sports (other than some having good commissioners, some bad.)

David Stern seems to be able to do anything he wants unilaterally, but he doesnít have any government exemption?

What am I missing?

From an economic point of view, baseball has the ability to artificially limit the supply of their product; the number of teams in the league. You limit the supply, the cost goes up. Although that statement is over-simplified, it has some truth to it.

Check this out. (http://espn.go.com/mlb/s/2001/1205/1290707.html)

ilsox7
09-21-2006, 11:36 AM
This "exemption" was created by the Supreme Court in a 1922 decision, where the Court found that baseball did not constitute interstate commerce :?:. Everyone realizes the exemption is a joke, since Major League Baseball clearly engages in interstate commerce, but the Supreme Court has not had an opportunity to overrule its prior precedent. Because Congress is free to pass legislation that abolishes this judicially-created exemption, you will hear politicians threatening MLB with this possibility every once in a while.

Yep. Kinda like, "Hey Bud, fix the steroids! What's that? You're dragging your feet? So, about that anti-trust exemption..."

Hangar18
09-21-2006, 11:42 AM
Everyone realizes the exemption is a joke, .


And everytime they get threatened with "Stripping" the exemption, the (powerful) MLB lobbyists in Washington make sure to start handing out autographed baseballs, old-school jerseys, free skyboxes and whatnot.