A lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the PGA Tour and its commissioner, Jay Monahan, confirms the case is advancing now to discovery after a court rejected the PGA’s attempt to get the case dismissed.
A lawsuit is in state court in Florida and challenges the “monopolization” of professional golf by its corporations, the PGA Tour and its partner DP World Tour.
The case is in the 15th Judicial Circuit for Palm Beach County, is on behalf of lawyer Larry Klayman, who is representing himself. Klayman founded the government-watchdog group Judicial Watch, then ran for U.S. Senate and, more recently, heads FreedomWatch USA.
He also was on the Department of Justice team that broke up the AT&T monopoly during the Reagan administration.
Working with him on the case is lawyer Stephen L. Sulzer.
They are alleging antitrust violations under Florida law for a refusal to deal and civil conspiracy.
Klayman confirmed this week that the motion to dismiss filed by the defendants failed.
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As the Second Amended Complaint alleges, due to the defendants’ anticompetitive conduct, Klayman and other golf fans, who are consumers in Florida, have been harmed due to the reduced competition, causing the price of admission tickets and concessions for and at PGA tournaments to increase greatly for the golfing consumer, he charges.
“This is the first time that the PGA Tour and Monahan have ‘taken it on the chin’ and lost a motion to dismiss an antitrust complaint filed against them. What is significant is that this case will now proceed to discovery, and for the first time, the PGA Tour and its commissioner will be held accountable for anticompetitive conduct. The whole truth will now be exposed for all to see and hear,” Klayman explained.
He said, “The court’s ruling is thus a major victory for golf fans, and by extension LIV Golf, whose players have been defamed and trashed by the defendants with their captive purveyors of fake news in the golf media, such as NBC’s Golf Channel, the PGA Tour’s admitted incestuous partner. Let justice ring!”
WND previously reported Klayman charged, “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 Arab/Muslim money) these defendants have flagrantly sought, through their anti-competitive actions, to harm Florida consumers who would attend PGA Tour and its 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.”
In fact, the PGA has confirmed plans to eject its members who may participate in the opposing tour.
Klayman continued, “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.”
Eliminating a competitor, as the PGA is accused of trying to do, would hurt the consumers who have been buying tickets to the PGA events, the lawsuit charges.
At issue is the PGA Tour’s “monopoly power” over the relevant market and its apparent decision to “suspend professional golfers who participate in professional golf tournaments organized by LIV Golf Investigations.”
The injury is that golf fans are left “paying supracompetitive prices for spectator admission to professional golf tournaments hosted in Florida and elsewhere in the United States.”
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