Supreme Court’s American Needle v. NFL Decision Puts Antitrust Scrutiny on Joint Ventures Among Competitors

Antitrust Alert



On May 24, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court decided American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League, No. 08-661. Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Stevens wrote that the joint licensing activities of the thirty-two separately owned and operated teams of the NFL constituted concerted activity that potentially could violate Section 1 of the federal Sherman Antitrust Act. This much-anticipated opinion carries consequences for competitors that have entered into, or may want to enter into, joint ventures or other collaborative activity. 

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