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SBD/Issue 34/Events & Attractions
ATP To Supreme Court: Do Not Hear Appeal On German Event
Published October 28, 2010
The ATP Tour told the U.S. Supreme Court in a filing yesterday that it should not take on appeal an antitrust lawsuit against the men's tennis circuit. The ATP has won at the district and appellate court level, fending off a lawsuit from a German tournament that the '07 calendar restructuring was an antitrust violation. In its September appeal to the Supreme Court, the German Tennis Federation argued that the recent American Needle decision, in which the court ruled that the NFL was not necessarily exempt from antitrust laws, should recast the lawsuit. But the ATP in its brief yesterday argued that the "Court recently stated in Am. Needle, Inc. v. Nat'l Football League a sports league's interest in making the entire league successful and profitable' can justify many restraints within the league." The GTF is alleging that the ATP has monopolized the market for top players by requiring them to play favored events. The ATP contends the GTF did not succeed in even defining that there was a players services market, or even if there was one, that an antitrust violation had occurred. The court could decide by the end of the year whether to take up the case, though it hears only a small percentage of appeals. If the court were not to hear the appeal, that would effectively end the long-running dispute that began in '07 with the unveiling of the Tour's new calendar.