SJ argues MLB antitrust case should go to trial

September 6, 2013 5:53:59 PM PDT
The fight is heating up between the city of San Jose and Major League Baseball over efforts to allow the Oakland A's to move south. MLB is trying to get San Jose's antitrust lawsuit dismissed, however, attorneys for San Jose filed a brief Friday indicating that the case should go to trial.

Just like baseball, San Jose's fight to get Major League Baseball to allow the A's to move from Oakland is a game of rules and regulations. And, attorneys representing the city argue that MLB's antitrust exemption applies only to players and labor issues -- not to team relocation.

"Every other time the court has considered this issue, it has found that there is no antitrust exemption for Major League Baseball or any other sports franchise, and we're asking the court in our filing today to reaffirm that position," explained San Jose's attorney Philip Gregory.

Major League Baseball is standing firm that its antitrust exemption is iron-clad. So, it's seeking dismissal of San Jose's lawsuit. ABC7 News reached out to MLB's San Francisco attorney, John Keker, but received no response.

Gregory is part of the legal team of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, in Burlingame, and will argue against dismissal in federal court on October 4. To bolster its case, it hired well-known sports economist professor emeritus Roger Noll at Stanford, to analyze the situation.

Gregory concluded, "There is absolutely no economic reason why Major League Baseball shouldn't wholly support the Athletics coming to San Jose."

ABC7 News contacted Major League Baseball in New York but they have not seen the latest filing and were not able to comment.

"We're here in the heart of Silicon Valley and competition made Silicon Valley great. We simply believe that Major League Baseball should be subject to the same competition that every other industry in this country is subject to," said San Jose city councilmember Sam Liccardo.

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