Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

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Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by nhbnews on Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:19 pm

Press release:

Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

(SAN JOSE, Calif. –Dec. 16, 2014) Three current and former high-profile Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters filed a multi-million-dollar class-action lawsuit today against the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) organization, accusing the $2-billion outfit of illegally maintaining monopoly and monoposony power by systematically eliminating competition from rival promoters, artificially suppressing fighters’ earnings from bouts and merchandising and marketing activities through restrictive contracting and other exclusionary practices.

The civil action – Cung Le, et al. v. Zuffa, LLC, d/b/a Ultimate Fighting Championship and UFC – filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose, seeks treble damages and injunctive relief under the Sherman Antitrust Act stemming from the UFC’s alleged “over-arching, anti-competitive scheme to enhance its monopoly power” in the market for promotion of live Elite Professional MMA bouts, and monopsony power in the market for live Elite Professional MMA Fighter services in the U.S. Monopsony refers to when there are many “sellers” and few “buyers” in the marketplace.

The lawsuit filed by fighters Cung Le, Nathan Quarry and Jon Fitch, who seek to represent a class of similarly situated current and former UFC professional combatants, alleges that the plaintiffs are victims of the UFC’s illegal scheme to eliminate its competition in the sport of MMA and suppress compensation for UFC Fighters from bouts and fighter identities and likenesses.

According to plaintiffs’ counsel Benjamin Brown, of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, “The UFC was built on the battered bodies of MMA fighters who have left their blood and sweat in the Octagon. Those fighters are entitled to the benefits of a competitive market for their talents.”

The lawsuit targets defendants Zuffa LLC, the Las Vegas-based company that conducts business as the UFC. Zuffa is primarily owned by billionaires Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, along with the UFC’s front-man, President Dana White. White has publicly boasted about the success of the UFC’s alleged illegal scheme, allegedly claiming that “there is no competition” because “I am the grim reaper[.]”

The lawsuit claims that the UFC’s alleged anti-competitive acts, in particular its actions over a period of years, have made and maintained the UFC as the only option for MMA fighters who want to earn a viable living in the profession.

“All UFC Fighters are paid a mere fraction of what they would make in a competitive market,” said Brown. “Rather than earning paydays comparable to boxers – a sport with many natural parallels – MMA fighters go substantially under-compensated despite the punishing nature of their profession.”

Above all, the lawsuit alleges that the UFC prevents fighters from working with other MMA promoters, mounting self-promotional efforts of their own or signing with outside sponsors – monopolistic practices that suppress fighters’ incomes.

According to named plaintiff Cung Le, of San Jose, Calif., an internationally acclaimed MMA combatant, “Because of the UFC’s coercive practices, competitive market forces have been strangled, future earnings power of the athletes is stripped away, and purses to the fighters are artificially depressed.”

Plaintiffs’ co-counsel and sports law specialist Robert Maysey, of Warner Angle Hallam Jackson & Formanek PLC, added, “As a result of the UFC’s illegal conduct, they have become the only game in town and locked down the entire sport. It is ironic that the fiercest combat athletes in the world have, until now, been powerless to take on the UFC.”

The lawsuit alleges that the UFC has pursued an aggressive strategy of depriving key inputs to potential rival promoters or merging with them to maintain its monopoly position. The complaint alleges “exclusionary scheme” to impair and foreclose competition, whereby the UFC deprives potential competitors in the fight promotion market access to elite MMA fighters, premium live event venues and sponsors.

According to plaintiffs’ co-counsel Michael Dell’Angelo, of Berger & Montague, P.C., “the lawsuit alleges that the UFC has engaged in an illegal scheme to eliminate competition from rival MMA promoters by systematically preventing rivals from gaining access to ingredients critical to successful MMA promotions, including by imposing extreme restrictions on UFC Fighters’ ability to fight for rivals during and after their tenure with the UFC. The UFC also takes the rights to fighters’ names and likenesses in perpetuity. As a result of the UFC’s scheme, we allege that UFC Fighters are paid fraction of what they would earn in a competitive marketplace.”

The lawsuit alleges that as a result of these and other anti-competitive acts, including the UFC’s acquisition of rival Strikeforce, the UFC has maintained control of more than 90 percent of the revenue derived from live MMA bouts nationwide.

The lawsuit also alleges that the UFC has retaliated against fighters who have worked with or who have announced intentions to work with rival promoters or sponsors by refusing to book their bouts and/or eliminating them from key UFC promotional activities such as advertising campaigns and video games.

“UFC’s threats are taken seriously by fighters because they know that a UFC ban will substantially diminish, if not end, their ability to earn a living at their chosen profession,” said plaintiffs’ co-counsel Joseph Saveri of Saveri Law Firm, Inc. “These MMA professionals deserve the right to take back their careers.

The plaintiffs are represented by nationally respected antitrust litigation firms Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll PLLC, Berger & Montague, P.C., Joseph Saveri Law Firm, Inc. and Warner Angle Hallam Jackson & Formanek PLC.

For more information about Cung Le, et al v. Zuffa, LLC, d/b/a Ultimate Fighting Championship and UFC, visit http://www.cohenmilstein.com/news.php?NewsID=742.

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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by God of Thunder on Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:40 pm

Finally

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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by Audax on Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:46 pm

Good to see Nate Quarry involved in this.

END THE MONOPOLY, SUPPORT WORLDWIDE MMA!!!
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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by Heretic on Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:09 pm

a surprise twist to see Fitch up there
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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by CDF47 on Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:23 pm

^Yeah, Fitch was a surprise. Where is Wand though?

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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by fka on Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:37 pm

Sean serk soon will be added...

Expect couture,tito,rampage wandy to jump all over this

Smile

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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by westcott123 on Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:43 pm

AudaxSynth wrote:Good to see Nate Quarry involved in this.

END THE MONOPOLY, SUPPORT WORLDWIDE MMA!!!

this is the beginning of the end for zuffa i expect if this thing is succsseful i think fighter in the org will come out and do the same thing zuffa causing it own collapse and yes i belive in world wide mma where no org is the top org and fighters can fight in any org as they please some people will say  ah the best guys wont fight each other they already don't fight each other and they don't ufc champ  vs bellator one fc wsof m1 mfc champ they expect a guy to sign with zuffa you know why because if he beats their champ his a ufc fighter now thats is how they keep their nest egg rolling most of the ufc fans are bannwaggoners who would jump to another org the moment it gets big and the ufc collapses
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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by God of Thunder on Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:52 pm

westcott123 wrote:
AudaxSynth wrote:Good to see Nate Quarry involved in this.

END THE MONOPOLY, SUPPORT WORLDWIDE MMA!!!

this is the beginning of the end for zuffa i expect if this thing is succsseful i think fighter in the org will come out and do the same thing zuffa causing it own collapse and yes i belive in world wide mma where no org is the top org and fighters can fight in any org as they please some people will say  ah the best guys wont fight each other they already don't fight each other and they don't ufc champ  vs bellator one fc wsof m1 mfc champ they expect a guy to sign with zuffa you know why because if he beats their champ his a ufc fighter now thats is how they keep their nest egg rolling most of the ufc fans are bannwaggoners who would jump to another org the moment it gets big and the ufc collapses
WAMMA was an awesome idea. They ranked the fighters from all promotions (except for UFC who refused) and put #1 against #2 no matter what promotion they belonged to.

Let´s bring WAMMA back to life. Of course it has to be independent and only work to determine the undisputed World champ in each division. Ring is a must so the cage doesn´t interfere witht he fights.
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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by nodogoshi on Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:59 pm

The release is inaccurate on monopsony. Monopsony doesn't refer to many sellers and few buyers. It has to do with domination of labor markets. Monopoly refers to many buyers and few sellers (one seller, in the pure case). Monopsony refers to many workers and few employers (one employer in the pure case).

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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by nodogoshi on Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:04 pm

Above all, the lawsuit alleges that the UFC prevents fighters from working with other MMA promoters, mounting self-promotional efforts of their own or signing with outside sponsors – monopolistic practices that suppress fighters’ incomes. wrote:

These are monopsonist practices.

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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by Audax on Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:39 pm

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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by westcott123 on Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:10 pm

Golden Age wrote:
westcott123 wrote:
AudaxSynth wrote:Good to see Nate Quarry involved in this.

END THE MONOPOLY, SUPPORT WORLDWIDE MMA!!!

this is the beginning of the end for zuffa i expect if this thing is succsseful i think fighter in the org will come out and do the same thing zuffa causing it own collapse and yes i belive in world wide mma where no org is the top org and fighters can fight in any org as they please some people will say  ah the best guys wont fight each other they already don't fight each other and they don't ufc champ  vs bellator one fc wsof m1 mfc champ they expect a guy to sign with zuffa you know why because if he beats their champ his a ufc fighter now thats is how they keep their nest egg rolling most of the ufc fans are bannwaggoners who would jump to another org the moment it gets big and the ufc collapses
WAMMA was an awesome idea. They ranked the fighters from all promotions (except for UFC who refused) and put #1 against #2 no matter what promotion they belonged to.

Let´s bring WAMMA back to life. Of course it has to be independent and only work to determine the undisputed World champ in each division. Ring is a must so the cage doesn´t interfere witht he fights.
yes and with either pride or one fc style rules fuck those people who think soccer kicks and stomps are brutal pride was around for 10 years and not once did they have death with using this rule set
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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by Rocksoldier84 on Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:29 pm

westcott123 wrote:
Golden Age wrote:
westcott123 wrote:
AudaxSynth wrote:Good to see Nate Quarry involved in this.

END THE MONOPOLY, SUPPORT WORLDWIDE MMA!!!

this is the beginning of the end for zuffa i expect if this thing is succsseful i think fighter in the org will come out and do the same thing zuffa causing it own collapse and yes i belive in world wide mma where no org is the top org and fighters can fight in any org as they please some people will say  ah the best guys wont fight each other they already don't fight each other and they don't ufc champ  vs bellator one fc wsof m1 mfc champ they expect a guy to sign with zuffa you know why because if he beats their champ his a ufc fighter now thats is how they keep their nest egg rolling most of the ufc fans are bannwaggoners who would jump to another org the moment it gets big and the ufc collapses
WAMMA was an awesome idea. They ranked the fighters from all promotions (except for UFC who refused) and put #1 against #2 no matter what promotion they belonged to.

Let´s bring WAMMA back to life. Of course it has to be independent and only work to determine the undisputed World champ in each division. Ring is a must so the cage doesn´t interfere witht he fights.
yes and with either pride or one fc style rules fuck those people who think soccer kicks and stomps are brutal pride was around for 10 years and not once did they have death with using this rule set

Yeah, I've heard that. Can someone explain to me why soccer kicks are brutal but kicking someone standing up is fine? What sense does this make? Oh yeah, don't forget different judging as well. No Unified bullshit.
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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by westcott123 on Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:16 pm

Rocksoldier84 wrote:
westcott123 wrote:
Golden Age wrote:
westcott123 wrote:
AudaxSynth wrote:Good to see Nate Quarry involved in this.

END THE MONOPOLY, SUPPORT WORLDWIDE MMA!!!

this is the beginning of the end for zuffa i expect if this thing is succsseful i think fighter in the org will come out and do the same thing zuffa causing it own collapse and yes i belive in world wide mma where no org is the top org and fighters can fight in any org as they please some people will say  ah the best guys wont fight each other they already don't fight each other and they don't ufc champ  vs bellator one fc wsof m1 mfc champ they expect a guy to sign with zuffa you know why because if he beats their champ his a ufc fighter now thats is how they keep their nest egg rolling most of the ufc fans are bannwaggoners who would jump to another org the moment it gets big and the ufc collapses
WAMMA was an awesome idea. They ranked the fighters from all promotions (except for UFC who refused) and put #1 against #2 no matter what promotion they belonged to.

Let´s bring WAMMA back to life. Of course it has to be independent and only work to determine the undisputed World champ in each division. Ring is a must so the cage doesn´t interfere witht he fights.
yes and with either pride or one fc style rules fuck those people who think soccer kicks and stomps are brutal pride was around for 10 years and not once did they have death with using this rule set

Yeah, I've heard that. Can someone explain to me why soccer kicks are brutal but kicking someone standing up is fine? What sense does this make? Oh yeah, don't forget different judging as well. No Unified bullshit
because they got a weird view on thing's and yes scoring the entire fight  judging system is the best it'snot perfect but it is 10x better than the unfied rules if somebody was going to die in pride as one shertard said then somebody would of died it would of been a common occurence pride would not of used them .
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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by fka on Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:38 pm

Stomps and headkicks ARE brutal...

Fun to watch but as far as prolonging a fighters career its not very helpful.

The argument is basically the argument for ground snd pound ...

It causes far more trauma then standing strikes due to the head bouncing off the matt repeatedly bouncing your brain around in your skull.

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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by CDF47 on Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:04 pm

Golden Age wrote:
westcott123 wrote:
AudaxSynth wrote:Good to see Nate Quarry involved in this.

END THE MONOPOLY, SUPPORT WORLDWIDE MMA!!!

this is the beginning of the end for zuffa i expect if this thing is succsseful i think fighter in the org will come out and do the same thing zuffa causing it own collapse and yes i belive in world wide mma where no org is the top org and fighters can fight in any org as they please some people will say  ah the best guys wont fight each other they already don't fight each other and they don't ufc champ  vs bellator one fc wsof m1 mfc champ they expect a guy to sign with zuffa you know why because if he beats their champ his a ufc fighter now thats is how they keep their nest egg rolling most of the ufc fans are bannwaggoners who would jump to another org the moment it gets big and the ufc collapses
WAMMA was an awesome idea. They ranked the fighters from all promotions (except for UFC who refused) and put #1 against #2 no matter what promotion they belonged to.

Let´s bring WAMMA back to life. Of course it has to be independent and only work to determine the undisputed World champ in each division. Ring is a must so the cage doesn´t interfere witht he fights.

WAMMA included the UFC fighters in their rankings.  I was hoping they would make it outside UFC rankings after UFC refused to participate back then but they never did.

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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by CDF47 on Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:06 pm

I have seen some of the most brutal KOs from punches, head kicks, and knees standing.  All legal moves in MMA and kickboxing (and punches in boxing).

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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by westcott123 on Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:03 pm

CDF47 wrote:I have seen some of the most brutal KOs from punches, head kicks, and knees standing.  All legal moves in MMA and kickboxing (and punches in boxing).
you know why they don't have them it is not because they are more or less any dangerous if they did a study someone tell me where the link is it the aesthetics of it
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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by CDF47 on Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:47 pm

westcott123 wrote:
CDF47 wrote:I have seen some of the most brutal KOs from punches, head kicks, and knees standing.  All legal moves in MMA and kickboxing (and punches in boxing).
you know why they don't have them it is not because they are more or less any dangerous if they did a study someone tell me where the link is it the aesthetics of it

I think aesthetics is a big part of it.  Especially for knees on the ground.  That was due to a fight with Gan McGee I believe where a commissioner was watching him land some good knees on the ground.

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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by westcott123 on Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:57 pm

CDF47 wrote:
westcott123 wrote:
CDF47 wrote:I have seen some of the most brutal KOs from punches, head kicks, and knees standing.  All legal moves in MMA and kickboxing (and punches in boxing).
you know why they don't have them it is not because they are more or less any dangerous if they did a study someone tell me where the link is it the aesthetics of it

I think aesthetics is a big part of it.  Especially for knees on the ground.  That was due to a fight with Gan McGee I believe where a commissioner was watching him land some good knees on the ground
of course but they only really did to please the do gooders that mma was barbaric one of the commissoners even said knees are not anymore dangerous than elbows it just like a video game or tv show even if  million people like it 10 people complain and they have to change it to make them happy
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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by westcott123 on Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:52 am

most zuffa zombies think these fighters are only doing it for montery gain and they are still using you sign the contract thing they say it like a broken record and not once did they ever mention about making money of this and besides they deserve more money any way
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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by Rizin=PRIDEFC on Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:47 am




We should call a guy who made this video to join us.
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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by westcott123 on Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:29 am

LEGENDMMA=PRIDEFC wrote:


We should call a guy who made this video to join us.
we should
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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by westcott123 on Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:31 am

westcott123 wrote:
LEGENDMMA=PRIDEFC wrote:


We should call a guy who made this video to join us.
we should the guy who uploaded it is called cainthebull i dont have a youtube acount so some one else will have to message him
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Re: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ultimate Fighting Championship Alleging Illegal Market Monopolization

Post by TeamJohnPerretti on Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:51 am

The Plaintiffs in the Le v. Zuffa, LLC (and related) antitrust case(s) have filed its opposition to Zuffa’s Motion to Transfer Venue to Las Vegas. Its main argument is that the forum selection clauses in the plaintiffs fight contracts are inapplicable in this antitrust action.

Earlier this year, Zuffa filed a motion to transfer venue from the federal court in San Jose to the federal court in Las Vegas citing, among the issues, the contractual agreements signed by the fighters. Also, it argued that many of the witnesses are residing in Vegas thus it would be more convenient for this litigation to occur in Las Vegas.

On Friday, Plaintiffs filed opposition to the motion which states that the forum selection clauses (the contractual language in the fight contracts binding fighters to bring legal action in Vegas) are not applicable in this antitrust matter. It argues that the contractual language only related to issues “to interpret or enforce” the contracts and Plaintiffs argue that the contracts are only relevant to the effect that the UFC used them as part of its anticompetitive scheme. The Plaintiffs go on to state in its pleadings that the UFC “torture the text of the Agreements and ignore the weight of authority that defeats its Motion.” Essentially, the UFC misinterprets its own contracts in this matter.



UFC has issued its own statement in relation to the opposition filed Friday:

“As expected, the plaintiffs have filed their opposition to our motion to dismiss. Nothing in their opposition changes our view that their complaints are filled with conclusory allegations that are not adequate to support their antitrust claim. As we laid out in our motion to dismiss, UFC has competed in a lawful manner that has benefited fighters and built UFC into a premier organization in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.


Indeed, UFC properly competes with other MMA promoters, fairly compensates its athletes and has created a product that is enjoyed by millions of fans around the world. Our legal position is solid and we intend to prevail in this lawsuit.”

The hearing date on the motion to transfer venue is set for May 7th.

In addition to this motion, Zuffa has filed a motion to dismiss with the opposition brief pending.




Payout Perspective:

MMA Payout will keep you posted on this motion. Plaintiffs argue several other points in its opposition which will cover in the coming days. Essentially, the Plaintiffs argue that despite the fighters signing their fight contracts which subject them to jurisdiction in Las Vegas, the headquarters of the UFC, the claims that they bring do not relate to the enforcement of the contract. The contract is only evidence of the anticompetitive nature of the organization. In addition, Plaintiffs argue that key individuals do reside in San Jose and thus it should stay in the district. Also, they claim that based on median time of filing to trial, it is faster (25%) to trial in San Jose than Las Vegas.


http://mmapayout.com/2015/04/plaintiffs-in-zuffa-antitrust-case-file-opposition-to-motion-to-transfer-venue/
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