View Full Version : Browns fan sues over NFL lockout

03-25-2011, 05:22 PM
Interesting read. Wonder if this could turn into a class-action suit?


A Cleveland Browns fan sued the National Football league and its teams over the player lockout, claiming it violated his contract to buy tickets through his personal seat license.

Lanci claimed that the lockout denies him the right under the personal seat licenses to go to Browns games and has destroyed the value of the seat-license agreement.

The lawsuit claims the NFL and its teams have "conspired with the Browns and one another to lock out the players, without justification, resulting in the Browns' breach of the PSL agreement."

03-26-2011, 02:37 AM
Interesting read. Wonder if this could turn into a class-action suit?


There is merit to this with the courts ruling against The American Needle merchandise company. They state that the teams act independently and operate as a single ententy to ensure the profitability of the league.

At the tail end of the written ruling in American Needle resides language that would give the league a reasonable shot at winning an antitrust lawsuit on the merits. “The fact that NFL teams share an interest in making the entire league successful and profitable, and that they must cooperate in the production and scheduling of games, provides a perfectly sensible justification for making a host of collective decisions,” the Supreme Court wrote. “Other features of the NFL may also save agreements amongst the teams. We have recognized, for example,’that the interest in maintaining a competitive balance’ among ‘athletic teams is legitimate and important’ . . . . While that same interest applies to the teams in the NFL, it does not justify treating them as a single entity . . . when it comes to the marketing of the teams’ individually owned intellectual property. It is, however, unquestionably an interest that may well justify a variety of collective decisions made by the teams.”


Now here is the kicker, the law suit by the fan will most likely be ruled in favor of the NFL stating that a lockout falls in line with "collective decisions", but, at the same time all those small market teams that have claimed a right to equal profit sharing will have also lost any future rulings due to the antitrust laws.

Competition law:

Substance and practice of competition law varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Protecting the interests of consumers (consumer welfare) and ensuring that entrepreneurs have an opportunity to compete in the market economy are often treated as important objectives. Competition law is closely connected with law on deregulation of access to markets, state aids and subsidies, the privatization of state owned assets and the establishment of independent sector regulators, among other market-oriented supply-side policies. In recent decades, competition law has been viewed as a way to provide better public services.[4] Robert Bork has argued that competition laws can produce adverse effects when they reduce competition by protecting inefficient competitors and when costs of legal intervention are greater than benefits for the consumers.[5]


Again, this guy is going to lose. He will lose based on The American needle ruling and he will also lose due to the fact the NFL will state they are acting on behalf of the consumer.

However, the NFLPA could turn the league on itself by stating the league is losing money based on the smaller market teams lack of revenue and losses and therefore under the competition law protecting the inefficient competitor (Buffalo, Jacksonville, etc) they are not acting on behalf of the consumer and thus in violation of antitrust laws.

The NFLPA could go so far as to demand the relocation of those teams or vote to absolve those teams that are in markets losing money and destroying the leagues competitive edge. Effectively the NFLPA would demand the NFL do what baseball did a few years ago.

Now I know what you are thinking at this point, "So shouldn't this guy win?" The answer is no, due to the fact he is suing Cleveland. But once the courts rule in favor of Cleveland acting on behalf of the league the league will be exposed to the competition law.

This is checkmate in 3 moves for smaller market teams. They are either going to get bought out for a ton of money or made move to larger more prosperous markets.

What sucks is the owners are going to look like victims and the players villainized but you have got to know the owners knew what they were doing going into this.

Can't wait for the San Antonio Vikings!