PGA Tour Wins First Round in Antitrust Legal Fight with Players

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On August 9, 2022, a federal judge hearing the antitrust lawsuit filed by 11 professional golf players against the PGA Tour ruled against three of the players who had sought a temporary restraining order. The order, if granted, would have allowed those three players who had qualified for the PGA Tour’s playoffs to play in this weekend’s FedEx Cup. Judge Beth Labson Freeman determined that the players knew the potential consequences of joining the rival LIV Golf circuit and thus emergency injunctive relief was not warranted. Further, because the players had already been compensated by LIV Golf, the Court found that they had failed to establish irreparable harm in being unable to play in the PGA Tour’s post-season.

This is just the first ruling in what is sure to be a contentious litigation between the PGA Tour and the players the Tour suspended for signing with its new competitor, LIV Golf. As we mentioned in a previous blog post (linked below), we will be following this antitrust litigation as well as DOJ’s independent investigation of the PGA Tour’s policies relating to players’ ability to sign with other tours.

Read more about this litigation: “Is antitrust liability in the future for the PGA Tour, and beyond?”

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