United States v. International Boxing Club - 348 U.S. 236 (1955)
U.S. Supreme Court
United States v. International Boxing Club, 348 U.S. 236 (1955)
United States v. International Boxing Club of New York, Inc.
Argued November 10, 1954
Decided January 31, 1955
348 U.S. 236
In a civil antitrust action brought by the Government to restrain alleged violations of §§ 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, the complaint alleged, inter alia, that the defendants are engaged in the business of promoting professional championship boxing contests on a multistate basis and selling rights to televise, broadcast, and film such contests for interstate transmission; that their receipts from the sale of television, radio, and motion picture rights represent over 25% of their total revenue, and, in some instances, exceed the revenue from the sale of admission tickets; and that the defendants have restrained and monopolized trade and commerce through a conspiracy to exclude competition in their line of business.
Held: the complaint states a cause of action, and the Government is entitled to an opportunity to prove its allegations. Pp. 348 U. S. 237-245.
(a) As described in the complaint, defendants' business of promoting professional championship boxing contests on a multistate basis and selling rights to televise, broadcast, and film such contests for interstate transmission constitutes "trade or commerce among the several States" within the meaning of the Sherman Act. Pp. 348 U. S. 240-243.
(b) That a boxing match is "a local affair" does not alone bar application of the Sherman Act to a business based on the promotion of such matches if the business is itself engaged in interstate commerce or if the business imposes illegal restraints on interstate commerce. P. 348 U. S. 241.
(c) Federal Baseball Club v. National League, 259 U. S. 200, and Toolson v. New York Yankees, 346 U. S. 356, did not immunize from application of the Sherman Act all businesses based on professional sports. Pp. 348 U. S. 241-243.
(d) Whether such a broad exemption should be granted is an issue to be resolved by Congress, not this Court. Pp. 348 U. S. 243-245.