This kind of case mostly concerns monopsony power, the lesser known cousin of monopoly power. The fighters say the U.F.C. is usually a monopsony, which is usually when there is usually one dominant buyer of a particular Great or service — in This kind of instance, the U.F.C. buying fighting services. So few monopsony cases reach trial of which each one is usually almost by definition precedent-setting.
“This kind of is usually an entirely novel case as far as I’m aware of,” said Marshall Steinbaum, an economics professor at the University of Utah. Most labor-related antitrust lawsuits concern things like anti-poaching agreements or disputes between companies, not workers suing employers. “There’s no generally accepted precedent about what constitutes damages arising by labor market monopsony,” Steinbaum said.
This kind of case could also hinge on the definition of damages. Rather than look at an individual fighter along with also argue of which illegal conduct by the U.F.C. suppressed his or her wages, the economic experts for the plaintiffs looked at the entire group of fighters along with also said the U.F.C.’s conduct suppressed their overall share of U.F.C. revenue.
While wage share is usually commonly used in professional sports, the U.F.C. argues This kind of is usually because unions representing athletes choose to bargain based on of which, not because there is usually any legal right to a specific share of wages. As the U.F.C. has grown, so has fighter income, the company’s lawyers say, showing of which fighters have benefited by the company’s conduct. If the judge allows the plaintiffs to make a wage share argument, of which will open the floodgates to class-action lawsuits across the country on This kind of basis, they warn.
“Whether inside sports industry or in various other industries, the courts — with Great reason — are not inside practice of telling market participants what percentage of revenue they must assign to compensation,” William A. Isaacson, a partner at Paul, Weiss along with also the lead counsel for the U.F.C., wrote in an email. He added of which doing so would certainly “serve as a harmful disincentive to ingenuity, risk-taking, along with also investment” along with also of which former fighters being unhappy with their compensation “does not equate to an antitrust violation nor is usually of which sufficient to demonstrate antitrust injury.”
various other lawyers disagree. Hiba Hafiz, a professor at Boston College Law School who worked for the plaintiffs earlier inside case, said the U.F.C.’s suggestion of which wage share is usually novel was simply “a litigation strategy.”
Sports labor markets are different by most various other labor markets, she said. In sports, “a direct relationship can be measured between athlete performance along with also revenue generated by the sports organization,” said Hafiz, generating wage share an appropriate metric. of which isn’t the case with, say, Subway sandwich makers or computer programmers. While their labor has value, of which is usually almost impossible to tie directly to a company’s overall revenue.