Guest Editorial Week of 4/19/2021

Rick Manning

End antitrust exemption for MLB

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning issued the following statement last week, urging every member of congress to co-sponsor recently announced legislation that would remove federal antitrust protection from Major League Baseball.
“Americans for Limited Government supports ending the absurd exemption that Major League Baseball has from our nation’s antitrust laws, and every member of congress should immediately co-sponsor this important reform.
“Co-sponsoring this legislation is the world’s biggest no-brainer as the anti-trust exemption stems from a 1922 Supreme Court case where it was granted because Major League Baseball was viewed as a game rather than a business. Ninety-nine years later, MLB has morphed into a business supported by a game with corporate advertising, licensing deals, broadcast rights, and taxpayer funded stadiums being primary drivers of the thirty cartel members (franchises).
“The value of these teams varies widely based upon their location and broadcast rights and stadium deals but the lowest valued (Miami Marlins) is still worth $1 billion and the most valuable (New York Yankees) is worth nearly $5 billion. This cartel engages in profit sharing where both national broadcast rights fees are distributed, visiting teams get a portion of the ticket sales generated by their appearance, and those teams which exceed a set total player salary amount pay into a fund which is distributed to the teams which pay the least in salaries. Additionally, the league negotiates with a players’ union without any fear of outside competition for player services by a competitive league due to the anti-trust exemption.
“Politics aside, there is no reason for Major League Baseball to retain this special exemption that only they enjoy and every American should embrace re-establishing competition into the marketplace of what was once America’s pastime.”


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