Justice Department Requires College Multimedia Rights Provider to Refrain from Unlawful Agreements Not to Compete
US DOJ reports 2.14.2019 – The Department of Justice announced today that it had reached a settlement with Learfield IMG College to resolve a Department lawsuit alleging that it engaged in unlawful agreements not to compete for multimedia rights contracts for universities’ athletic programs.
The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division filed a civil antitrust lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to challenge unlawful agreements not to compete. At the same time, the Department filed a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would resolve the lawsuit’s alleged competitive harm.
“The illegal agreements not to compete allowed Learfield IMG College to benefit at the expense of the nation’s universities, students, and fans,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “Public and private universities rely on competition among multimedia rights providers to provide critical resources to athletic programs, but these agreements lessened that competition and thereby harmed the universities and, ultimately, American students and taxpayers.”
The proposed settlement prohibits agreements not to bid, or to submit joint bids, between Learfield IMG College and any of its competitors in multimedia rights management. The Department has determined that prohibiting this conduct would resolve the competition concerns raised as a result of Learfield IMG College’s actions. The proposed settlement further requires Learfield IMG College to adopt rigorous antitrust compliance and reporting measures to prevent similar anticompetitive conduct in the future. Learfield IMG College has cooperated with the Department’s investigation and will continue to do so as it adopts these measures.
Learfield IMG College, a subsidiary of A-L Tier I LLC, is headquartered in Plano, Texas. Learfield IMG College provides a variety of services to universities, including multimedia rights management, trademark licensing, and ticketing.