Rethinking Major League Baseball’s Antitrust Exemption

  • Roger D. Blair University of Florida
  • Wenche Wang University of Michigan

Abstract

For nearly a century, Major League Baseball (MLB) has enjoyed antitrust immunity. No other sports league or organization is similarly exempt. Shielded by precedent from antitrust prosecution, MLB clubs are free to exploit both monopolistic and monopsonistic power. In this paper, we call for a repeal of MLB’s antitrust exemption. In doing so, we examine some recent antitrust challenges to MLB conduct, the current interest of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission in labor market issues, the welfare consequences of the exemption, and a policy recommendation for legislative action.

Author Biographies

Roger D. Blair, University of Florida

Roger D. Blair, PhD, is a professor and chair of the Department of Economics and affiliate faculty of law at the University of Florida.

Wenche Wang, University of Michigan

Wenche Wang, PhD, is an assistant professor of sport management in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Michigan.

Published
2020-01-31
Section
Original Research