Word went around earlier this month that MLW and WWE filed a “Joint Motion of Settlement” with the court regarding MLW’s antitrust suit against WWE. It signaled an end to a legal drama that began in January of 2022 when Court Bauer’s promotion formally alleged WWE had a monopoly-like hold on the pro wrestling business. Their case claimed the then-Vince McMahon-controlled company was using its power to prevent smaller feds like MLW from landing media rights deals, among other things.
Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston reported today (Dec. 26) that the judge signed the settlement order and dismissed the case with prejudice, which means it cannot be relitigated. And just as they did when WWE’s motion to dismiss was unsuccessful in June, MLW’s legal team issued a press release touting their role:
Kasowitz Secures Settlement on Behalf of MLW Media Against World Wrestling Entertainment in Antitrust Suit
New York, NY, December 22, 2023 — Kasowitz Benson Torres, on behalf of professional wrestling promotion company MLW Media (MLW), has reached a settlement with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) over MLW’s antitrust and state law claims against WWE for monopolizing and attempting to monopolize the market for the sale or licensing of media rights for professional wrestling programming in the United States. On December 22, 2023, MLW filed a stipulation and proposed order of dismissal of its lawsuit against WWE with the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, notifying the court that the parties have entered into a settlement agreement.
The settlement follows MLW’s successful defeat of WWE’s motion to dismiss, as well as its successful motion to strike numerous affirmative defenses in WWE’s answer to the amended complaint. The parties agreed to resolve the matter on mutually acceptable terms.
The Kasowitz Benson Torres team representing MLW is led by partners Marc E. Kasowitz and Christine A. Montenegro and includes partner Nicholas A. Rendino.
Still no information on the specific terms of the settlement, but the rumor mill indicates the end of the case was well-received by the MLW roster.