17 Aug 2012 Cases

ChampionsWorld LLC v. United States Soccer Federation and Major League Soccer

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In August 2012 the Honorable Harry D. Leinenweber (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division) issued an opinion and order granting Defendants’ motions to exclude opposing expert testimony and issuing summary judgment findings on the antitrust claims in Defendants’ favor in a long-running dispute brought by ChampionsWorld, a bankrupt promoter of exhibition soccer matches. Among other things, ChampionsWorld disputed the legitimacy of sanctioning fees charged by USSF to entities holding exhibition matches in the United States. Counsel for USSF and MLS retained Compass Lexecon expert, Professor Joseph Kalt to provide analysis of the antitrust claims and to critique the testimony of a sports economist retained by ChampionsWorld. Professor Kalt, with the assistance of a Compass Lexecon team headed up by Steven Peterson and Eric Henson, demonstrated that no inference of conspiracy was found in the economic evidence available, no exclusionary conduct was undertaken by USSF and/or MLS, the sanctioning fees charged by USSF arose from legitimate economic purposes, and the testimony of the opposing economist failed to define a relevant market and failed to demonstrate harm to competition or consumers. We worked with attorneys from Latham & Watkins LLP (representing USSF) and Proskauer Rose LLP (representing MLS). Lead attorneys from Latham & Watkins included, among others, Russell Sauer and Christopher Yates. Lead attorneys from Proskauer included, among others, Bradley Ruskin and Colin Kass.

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