WWE must face wrestling rival's antitrust lawsuit | Inquirer Sports

WWE must face wrestling rival’s antitrust lawsuit

/ 10:48 AM June 17, 2023


FILE PHOTO: Apr 2, 2023; Inglewood, CA, USA; Cody Rhodes (navy blue pants) and Roman Reigns (black pants) during Wrestlemania Night 2 at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

A US judge rejected World Wrestling Entertainment’s effort to dismiss a smaller rival’s antitrust lawsuit that accused it of monopolizing the market for professional wrestling media rights.

In a decision on Thursday, US District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California, said MLW Media had presented enough “circumstantial” evidence that WWE uses its dominance to keep rivals from accessing various distributors and arenas.


MLW said Stamford, Connecticut-based WWE commands about 92% of revenue from US media rights for pro wrestling, versus 6% for All Elite Wrestling and less than 2% for everyone else.


The Mamaroneck, New York-based plaintiff also cited WWE’s exclusive rights agreements with Fox and Comcast’s NBCUniversal, which run major cable networks, and said WWE blocks rivals from NBC’s streaming platform Peacock.

MLW sufficiently alleged that WWE’s activities “had a substantial effect in foreclosing competitors from the professional wrestling media rights market,” Davila wrote.

WWE and its lawyers did not immediately respond on Friday to requests for comment.

Marc Kasowitz, a lawyer for MLW, in a statement said the company looked forward to recovering “substantial” damages for WWE’s “many years of egregious anticompetitive behavior.”

The lawsuit began in January 2022.

In seeking a dismissal, WWE had said wrestling promoters “have all the tools needed to succeed” and that MLW could sign up with other channels and platforms, including those run by Amazon.com, CBS, Disney, Netflix and Warner Bros Discovery.


The case is MLW Media LLC v World Wrestling Entertainment Inc, US District Court, Northern District of California, No. 22-00179.


Wrestling start-up AEW tags up with New Japan to challenge WWE behemoth

WWE, UFC to merge into $21 billion entertainment giant

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.


© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.