UFC faces antitrust lawsuits

Residents of Maryland who enjoy mixed martial arts may be interested to learn that the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a major organization that specializes in the sport, was targeted with three separate antitrust lawsuits in December. The actions were filed against UFC on Dec. 16, Dec. 22 and Dec. 24 by a total of seven individual plaintiffs who claim the organization illegally hampered competition. Some of the plaintiffs are MMA fighters or participated in the sport in the past.

Commentators say the UFC hired a New York-based law firm to fight back against the allegations; this firm has participated in a number of high-profile antitrust cases, including Bush vs. Gore, United States vs. Microsoft and a dispute between the NFL Players Association and the NFL. According to a representative, the UFC simply served the needs of consumers and sports fans as it created its business, and the organization believes its current market status reflects these successes.

The plaintiffs are also represented by firms that have taken on prior antitrust suits. Their complaints accuse the UFC of restricting who fighters could fight for and stopping competing promoters from accessing vital resources. The organization also was also accused of underpaying fighters while profiting from their images indefinitely.

Employment laws can vary based on the nature of the job in question; organizations that represent large groups of athletes or entertainers might run astray of the rules when they attempt to provide better services and products for consumers. Although employers commonly enact employment agreements to preserve their indemnity, these contracts may be challenged or nullified in court, especially when workers feel their rights have been violated. Many modern companies try to avoid such situations by seeking legal advisement on the employment policies they want to implement.

Source: Yahoo! Sports, “UFC Hires Powerful New York Law Firm in Antitrust Lawsuit Defense“, December 30, 2014

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