Author Topic: Mets are buying the Chiefs  (Read 17325 times)

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Offline Elvir Ovcina

  • Posts: 2657
Re: Mets are buying the Chiefs
« Reply #50: October 10, 2017, 04:29:18 PM »
the whole farm league system violates anti-trust in a myriad of ways- the exemption is why it doesn't apply- otherwise it would almost defiantly apply, barring competitors from founding a new team by their competitors seems pretty open and shut- not that the lerners have the balls to threaten MLB with testing the exemption (it's not like they couldn't look north and see Angelos making the threat and the mlb caving rather than risking it every time). As far as a 31st team- if you don't sign a player development contract with whoever is left holding the bag, they really don't have much choice other than folding or indy ball.

Yes, thank you.  I'm an antitrust lawyer.  But antitrust law does not prevent someone from simply opening a business on spec and then trying to break into an antitrust-immunized cartel by a friendly application, which was what you were proposing the Nats do by starting a team and simply applying to the IL.  Rather, the commercial realities that follow from a lack of antitrust law do. 

And ironically given your statement, the antitrust exemption (actually, two separate ones in the case of minor league baseball) is exactly what allows the leagues to simply refuse to consider an application for a 31st team.  There is zero chance that founding a team and simply applying to join the league would work, when the keys to league membership are held by a cartel whose members must protect each other in order for it to work.  If they allowed one new team in, every single owner in AAA would then be looking over his shoulder for the next "31st team" to cause him to lose his own spot in the league.  And because they are legally allowed to, they can pretty much openly collude to prevent that from happening.  In other words, they have no reason to allow someone to start a team (for free) and apply to the league when they can force that same someone to buy one of a limited supply of franchises - at what are therefore artificially inflated prices - instead.  Allowing this type of end run would instantly tank AAA team values.

Similarly, the territorial division (blatantly illegal absent an antitrust exemption) that allows the Orioles to block new minor league teams in Maryland would allow Angelos alone to veto such an arrangement before it ever got to the stage of an application to the IL. 

Also, the Lerners challenging either one of the antitrust immunities that protect them for the sake of a AAA team would be monumentally stupid: they'd be instantly wiping hundreds of millions of dollars (conservatively) off their franchise value for the Nats while gaining...a AAA team in Annapolis.