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May 17, 2022

WWE Files New Argument Against MLW Antitrust Lawsuit

WWE filed another argument for a court to dismiss the antitrust lawsuit brought against the company by Major League Wrestling (MLW), according to a report by PWInsider.

World Wrestling Entertainment filed its first motion to dismiss the lawsuit in March, and MLW argued against the motion in April. In response, this latest filing by WWE argues that MLW has failed to provide any evidence that WWE has “monopoly power” over the professional wrestling industry. It also states the allegation that WWE interfered with MLW’s contract negotiations is not supported by facts.

An excerpt from WWE’s court filing reads:

“First, MLW’s monopolization claim(s) remain unviable. MLW has not and cannot plead the core elements of a monopolization claim: (1) a relevant product market, (2) monopoly power, (3) anticompetitive conduct, and (4) antitrust injury. Confronted with WWE’s motion to dismiss and the deficiencies of its own Complaint, MLW now tries to reframe its Complaint through its opposition (Opp.), asserting that WWE’s exclusive contracts with Fox and NBCUniversal foreclose MLW from the “market” by cutting off its access to key distributors or purchasers. However, MLW’s complaint is silent on (1) WWE’s use of exclusive contracts, (2) whether these exclusive contracts substantially foreclose the proposed market, or (3) the existence of “key” networks, cable, and streaming services that control access to this proposed marketplace.

MLW originally filed its lawsuit in January, alleging WWE’s “ongoing attempts to undermine competition in and monopolize the professional wrestling market by interfering with MLW’s contracts and business prospects.” Part of WWE’s most recent argument against MLW’s monopoly claim is that WWE is just one of a vast amount of programming options available to its broadcast partners.


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