SBD/11/Leagues Governing Bodies

FTC DECISION TO DROP PROBE SEEN AS MAJOR BOOST FOR FINCHEM

     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).
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