There is no simple answer to your question, because there is considerable leeway in the interpretation of what constitutes reasonable restraint of trade (ie, some monopolistic behavior can be acceptable). Theoretically, all cable bundling of games–on Time Warner, on ESPN–are violations of the SBA. The NFL, NBA, and NHL all work in the gray zones of the law. But the point here isn’t so much whether these are legitimate agreements, but that those other leagues are subject to judicial review through the courts, whereas MLB’s antitrust exemption gives it license to do whatever it pleases with basically no public accountability. The opposition you find yourself confronted with–buy an expensive cable package or buy games via the net–is an artificially created condition that results from baseball’s monopoly power.
Posted by YF on 10/3/2003 05:42:42 PM