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SBD/11/Leagues Governing Bodies
FTC DECISION TO DROP PROBE SEEN AS MAJOR BOOST FOR FINCHEM
Published September 11, 1995
The FTC's decision to drop their investigation into the PGA Tour was a "stunning and total victory for PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem, who exhibited some of his well-honed political acumen along the way," according to Thomas Bonk of the L.A. TIMES. Bonk calls the strategy of Finchem and PGA Tour attorney Edward Moorhouse "flawless," as they enlisted Congressional support, laid the groundwork for "potential limited antitrust exemptions" if an unfavorable decision came down. Also, the two never talked about the FTC's investigation without "mentioning that money the tour donated to charity would be jeopardized." The PGA Tour spent more than $1M in legal fees over the course of the probe, and "held a stance that it needed controls to ensure strong player fields to make the sponsors and the networks happy." PGA Tour VP/Communications John Morris: "If our powers had been taken away from us, we'd have been as bad as tennis" (L.A. TIMES, 9/10). GOLFWORLD writes the ruling was not good news for the proposed World Tour, whose offices in West Palm Beach, FL, had a taped message explaining the number had been disconnected (GOLFWORLD, 9/8 issue).