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REPORT SAYS FTC WILL TAKE ACTION AGAINST PGA TOUR SOON
Published November 28, 1994
The Federal Trade Commission is expected to recommend that action be taken against the PGA Tour for "certain restrictive policies," according to sources close to the investigation. The 4-year-old inquiry by the FTC is coming to an end, "but it is uncertain whether sanctions will ever come to pass, as the matter may continue in various stages of department and judicial processes for a year or more." Since '90, the FTC has been gathering depositions from players, sponsors, tourney organizers and TV officials focusing on the competitive effects of the tour's "conflicting events and television release rules." Should a complaint be issued by the FTC, several possibilities exist, "including a negotiated settlement." But if the parties do not agree, then they may appear before an administrative law judge (Chuck Stogel, BRANDWEEK, 11/28 issue). MORE WORLD TOUR REFLECTIONS: In Chicago, Bob Verdi notes that the proposed World Tour has created "an epidemic of sponsor shock." He wonders, "if you're a sponsor" and 30-40 of the top players are not participating in a PGA Tour event, "do you love golf or leave it? And if corporate angels disappear, the PGA Tour would be in the throes of nothing less than a depression" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/27). NBC Sports Senior VP Jon Miller on the proposed World Tour that would be televised on Fox: "All the networks with relationships to the current structure have a lot to lose. The PGA Tour has been the best run and best managed sport for individuals" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/25). Larry Dorman notes that after a week of research, he could not find one ranked American player "who will stand up" and say that he is prepared to sign on with the World Tour (N.Y. TIMES, 11/27).