In American Needle Inc. v. National Football League, 130 S. Ct. 2201 (2010), the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that collective licensing of the 32 National Football League teams' intellectual property constituted an "agreement" among competitors under § 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. 1. The Court's decision will extend well beyond the arena of professional sports, however, to preserve or strengthen antitrust enforcement in several critical sectors of the U.S. economy. In particular, the Court's decision supports government and private suits against real estate multiple-listing services, physician joint ventures and payment-card networks, and perhaps joint ventures in other industries as well.
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'American Needle' has Repercussions Beyond Sports
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