Out at Home: Why the Major League Baseball Advanced Media Agreement May Violate Antitrust Law
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Out at Home: Why the Major League Baseball Advanced Media Agreement May Violate Antitrust Law

  • Author(s): Schoenvogel, Sally E.
  • et al.
Abstract

Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM or BAM) has

created one of the most successful technology platforms for broadcasting

professional baseball games online. BAM is extremely profitable,

but its exclusive online broadcast of professional baseball games

through MLB.tv may violate antitrust law. Conventional wisdom may

suggest MLBAM would be exempt from antitrust law under the judicially

created baseball exemption, but the online broadcast of professional

baseball games likely does not fall under the baseball exemption.

Therefore, an antitrust suit could be brought against BAM for its

online broadcasts. In an antitrust suit, BAM would not be considered a

single entity because of its similarities to NFL Properties in American

Needle. BAM's MLB. tv product significantly restrains trade in a relevant

market. BAM, however, will likely prevail in arguing that maintaining

competitive balance amongst its teams is a procompetitive justification.

Less restrictive alternatives exist, however, that may yet put

BAM in violation of antitrust law.

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