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The Big Leagues Go to WashingtonCongress and Sports Antitrust, 1951-1989$
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David George Surdam

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039140

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039140.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 14 October 2019

Economics of Antitrust

Economics of Antitrust

Chapter:
(p.23) 2 Economics of Antitrust
Source:
The Big Leagues Go to Washington
Author(s):

David George Surdam

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252039140.003.0002

This chapter examines the economics of antitrust, with particular emphasis on how antitrust law affects professional team sports. In the late 1800s, Americans worried about the growing concentration of power in the hands of a few producers such as Standard Oil, American Tobacco, and other large firms that consolidated their holds over industries by merging and acquiring other companies. Other industrial leaders sought to fix prices above those obtained under competition. The Sherman Antitrust Act, enacted in 1890, contains provisions addressing “contract,” “conspiracy,” and “trade and commerce.” This chapter first considers how courts applied the Sherman Act to cases involving professional team sports before discussing the characteristics of professional sports leagues, how owners of professional sports teams reported profits and losses, the issue of player salaries and exploitation, and competitive balance and revenue sharing in professional leagues. It also describes franchise relocation and expansion and how television created demand in sports.

Keywords:   economics, antitrust law, Sherman Antitrust Act, professional sports leagues, profits, player salaries, competitive balance, revenue sharing, franchise relocation, television

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