PGA TOUR & DP WORLD TOUR SUED OVER ALLEGED ANTITRUST VIOLATIONS
PGA Tour's Jay Monahan and DP World Tour's Keith Pelley Also Sued Individually Over Alleged Conspiracy in Restraint of Trade
(July 1, 2022, Palm Beach, Florida) A consumer class-action lawsuit was filed under Florida law for monopolization, market division, refusal to deal (aka group boycott) and civil conspiracy against the PGA Tour and its partner DP World Tour, as well as their commissioners Jay Monahan and Keith Pelley, as co-conspirators, for allegedly restraining competition against the LIV Golf Tour.
Larry Klayman, the chairman and general counsel of Freedom Watch, Inc., had this say to upon the filing of the suit, which is before the 15th Judicial Circuit for Palm Beach County, in a case styled Klayman v. PGA Tour et. al (Civil Action Filing No. 152286168):
"Using the phony pretext of Saudi financing of the LIV Golf Tour (as the PGA Tour and DP World Tour also significantly benefit from a huge amount of Saudi and Middle Eastern money) these defendants have, through their anti-competitive actions, harmed Florida consumers who would attend PGA Tour and it's admitted partner DP World Tour golfing tournaments and events, by suspending and fining professional golfers who were formerly on these golf tours, simply because they signed up to play in LIV Golf Tour tournaments and events.
"The LIV Golf Tour, which was organized and is led by champion golf legend Greg Norman, is paying large competitive contract fees to big name professional golfers such Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Lee Westwood, Louis Oosthuizen, Kevin Na, and Talor Gooch, and a host of other prominent players. It is seeking to establish itself as a potentially significant competitor to the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, which these entities apparently will not tolerate. Using their superior market power, as set forth in the class action complaint, the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, under the 'leadership' of Jay Monahan and Keith Pelley respectively, have set out to destroy the LIV Golf Tour.
"In doing so, Monahan and Pelley and their allies, including commentators on NBC's Golf Channel, have repeatedly outrageously disparaged Greg Norman and the LIV golf professionals, as participating in sports washing and accepting blood money from the Saudis, when their tours also hugely benefit from Saudi and Middle Eastern money. In fact, it is telling that the DP World Tour's yearly major tournament schedule ends with 'The Race to Dubai.' NBC's Golf Channel likely fears that a rival major network may sign a contract with LIV, in competition with NBC, to cover and broadcast LIV golf tournaments.
"This anti-competitive and bullying behavior cannot be tolerated in a free-market capitalist economy, or in general, particularly since consumers of the great game of professional tournament golf will be among the big losers if the LIV Golf Tour is destroyed in its infancy. The preservation of the LIV Golf Tour is therefore in the public's interest!"