MLW, the promotion run by former WWE writer Court Bauer, filed an antitrust lawsuit against WWE last January. You’d imagine a federal antitrust case would be a long process featuring lots of legal wrangling, and that’s been the case here.
At least as far as we can tell with out limited understanding of such things. We haven’t covered every twist and turn, because frankly other than cutting & pasting large sections of public documents, there’s not much we can add. The point of this whole blogging gig is to curate information on a topic, but also to provide some context, analysis or opinion about what’s curated. We can’t add much there, so...
Anyway, we did cover the presiding judge’s decision to dismiss the case back in February. He left the door open for MLW to amend their filing, which they did. WWE argued the amended case should be dismissed as well. Last week, the judge ruled in favor of MLW and the suit will proceed.
For the reasons mentioned above, there was no post on Cageside about that decision. Fortunately for us legal ignoramuses, the law firm representing MLW issued a press release yesterday (June 19) lauding it.
While obviously only representing one side, it does summarize where things stand:
Kasowitz Defeats Motion To Dismiss MLW Media’s Antitrust Suit Against World Wrestling Entertainment
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NEW YORK, NY - Kasowitz Benson Torres, on behalf of professional wrestling promotion company MLW Media, has defeated a motion to dismiss MLW’s amended complaint asserting federal antitrust and state law unfair competition claims against World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) for monopolizing and attempting to monopolize the market for the sale or licensing of media rights to professional wrestling events in the United States. MLW’s claims will now proceed to discovery.
In denying the motion, Judge Edward J. Davila, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, held that MLW had sufficiently alleged all four elements of its antitrust claims— relevant market, market power, anticompetitive conduct and antitrust injury-and declined to dismiss the state law claims.
Marc E. Kasowitz stated “We are pleased with Judge Davila’s well-reasoned opinion and look forward to recovering the substantial damages that MLW has suffered as a result of WWE’s many years of egregious anticompetitive behavior.”
The Kasowitz Benson Torres team representing MLW Media is led by partner Marc E. Kasowitz and includes partners Christine A. Montenegro, Nicholas A. Rendino and Jason S. Takenouchi.
PWInsider has done a thorough and detailed job covering the MLW/WWE legal battle, cutting & pasting from the court docs AND having an actual grasp of what they mean. You can read their write-up of the most recent decision here.