Plaintiff professional football league and its owners filed suit against defendant professional football league and its owners under the Sherman Act. From an adverse decision of the district court, plaintiffs appealed.
The appellate court determined that the relevant market was nationwide. Plaintiffs had competed successfully for players, and had obtained advantageous contracts for national television coverage. Such evidence strongly supported the finding that defendants did not have the power to impede formation of plaintiffs' league. The fact that defendants enjoyed a natural monopoly did not occasion a violation of the antitrust laws unless the natural monopoly power of defendants' teams was misused to gain a competitive advantage for teams located in other cities, or for defendants' league as a whole. There was nothing in the nature of a concerted campaign by defendants to thwart the ambitions of plaintiff owners to destroy plaintiff league.
Judgment that defendant league and owners did not have the power to monopolize the relevant market was affirmed. Plaintiffs had shown no monopolization by defendants of the relevant market, and no attempt or conspiracy by defendants to monopolize it.
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