Enforcers Have Clear Path to Block PGA, LIV and DP’s Brazen Merger to Monopoly
Washington, D.C. — In response news that golf giants PGA Tour, Saudi Arabia-backed challenger LIV Golf, and Europe-based DP World Tour are consolidating into a single, for-profit entity, the American Economic Liberties Project released the following statement.
“This deal is one of the most brazen mergers to monopoly in recent history. PGA admits it aims to ‘unify the game of golf, on a global basis,’ its Commissioner Jay Monahan says the deal ‘takes[s] the competitor off the board’, and Bloomberg is reporting that no antitrust lawyers were involved in the deal. These are huge red flags,” said Katherine Van Dyck, Senior Legal Counsel at the American Economic Liberties Project. “The PGA Tour enjoys monopoly control over elite professional golf in the United States; DP World Tour has the same position in Europe. Both entities exerted that power to squash LIV’s attempts to enter their markets by threatening any golfer that wanted to play in an LIV tournament. But as LIV grew, they were forced to compete on the merits and began offering golfers on their tours bigger tournament prizes. Now, PGA, DP, and LIV will operate as a unified for-profit machine with a global monopoly. The consequences for golfers and their fans could be devastating and stunt innovation in the sport. Unless Congress grants this new venture some sort of antitrust exemption, there is no way this deal would survive legal scrutiny. Antitrust enforcers in the United States, Europe, and the UK have a clear path to block it.”
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The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. Economic Liberties believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.