Boy howdy. This Supreme Court just can't get enough antitrust. Yesterday, it granted review of yet another Sherman Act decision — one that Blawgletter deemed "silly".
As we summarized at the time, the Seventh Circuit "held that a professional sports organization enjoys antitrust immunity when its members jointly strive to exploit intellectual property that the league's very existence makes valuable. 'Simply put', the court simply put its ruling, 'nothing in section 1 [of the Sherman Act] prohibits the NFL teams from cooperating so the league can compete against other entertainment providers.' Am. Needle Inc. v. Nat'l Football League, No. 07-4006, slip op. at 17 (7th Cir. Aug. 18, 2008)."
We suppose the Supreme Court agrees with our Dim View of Am. Needle v. NFL. That might explain why Their Honors rejected the Antitrust Division's advice not to grant cert, despite the "problematic" features of the Seventh Circuit decision.
By the way, Judge Sonia Sotomayor sat on a panel that decided a similar case, Major League Baseball Props., Inc. v. Salvino, Inc., 542 F.3d 290 (2d Cir. 2008). But, unlike Am. Needle, Salvino didn't treat a league of professional sports teams as a single firm. She wrote a concurring opinion in which she offered an "ancillary restraints" analysis of the case rather than the majority's "overly formalistic view of price fixing".