Appeals court rejects Oakland’s antitrust lawsuit over Raiders’ move to Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — An appeals court has rejected a 2018 antitrust lawsuit filed by the City of Oakland against the National Football League, siding with a District Court ruling that dismissed the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was initially filed after the Raiders filed their 2017 application to move to Las Vegas.

The Ninth Circuit Court of appeals today backed the District Court ruling that the NFL did not violate the Sherman Act, rejecting Oakland’s arguments that NFL teams “created artificial scarcity in their product (NFL teams), and then used that scarcity . . . to demand supra-competitive prices from host cities.” Oakland also failed to show that price-fixing occurred, the court said.

Judge Joseph Spero issued the April 30, 2020, ruling against Oakland. Today’s ruling upholds his findings.

Spero’s ruling indicated Oakland’s lawsuit was based, in part, on “a somewhat speculative chain of causation” that led to the team’s move to Las Vegas.

The Raiders wanted Oakland to build a new stadium as their lease on the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum was expiring. Oakland’s offers fell far short of what the Raiders wanted, and they moved to Las Vegas, making the $1.9 billion Allegiant Stadium their new home.

The lawsuit named all 32 NFL teams.

Oakland is now in a fight to hold onto the Oakland A’s, with Las Vegas competing to lure them away.

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