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Re: monopoly definition

Dave Faneuf said:
> There are markets in MLB with more than one team, owned by different
> entities so why would they be protected under an anti-trust exemption
> since there is not a monopoly in that particular city?
> I'm not a big enough baseball fan to know the answer to this question,
> but back when baseball was originally protected from the anti-trust
> laws didn't most baseball towns have more than one MLB team?
> Collusion is hard to prove but IIRC it was proven in MLB.

This is all from my memory, so corrections are welcome...

Baseball was granted its anti-trust exemption in the 1920s after the Black
Sox scandal. Judge Landis, the commissioner, wanted the exemption and
argued that baseball was first and foremost sport, not business. At the
time he may have been right; a good deal of teams were owned by sportsmen
who enjoyed making a profit but also enjoyed the ownership of the team.
Often, they made their fortune elsewhere (be it business or inheritance)
but when they purchased the team that became their top priority.

Nowadays, except for football, there are few of those types left (consider
Steinbrenner one of them), as most teams are now owned by partnerships and
trusts (hello, John Harrington) that are more concerned with profit, since
it is their fiduciary responsibility, than the team's success necessarily.
Since Tribune can make money hand-over-fist just through the allure of the
Cubs and how they are "lovable losers" and they'll still get the viewers on
WGN, they couldn't care as much about whether they finish in first or last
place. Meanwhile, a guy like Steinbrenner will do whatever it takes -- sink
money into the farm system, sign the occasional free agent, etc. -- to win.
Just look at the Yanks' payroll.

And you are right; at one time a good deal of cities (Boston, New York,
Chicago, Cleveland even) possessed American League and National League
teams. This, of course, was before the days of MLB.