OWGR, PGA and DP World Tours sued for collusion in Florida court

Mark McGowan
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A second Amended Class Action Complaint has been filed in a Florida court, alleging that the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) is in collusion with the PGA and DP World Tours to “eliminate LIV Golf in its infancy.”

The lawsuit, filed by attorney Larry Klayman, claims that the “conflicted leadership of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour – both PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley sit on the OWGR board – are in a conspiracy to restrain trade in violation of Florida’s antitrust laws.

In the court filings, it is alleged that due to the PGA Tour’s decision to exclude any players who’ve defected to LIV Golf, consumers “have seen the quality of the product that they are paying for at PGA Tour events be diluted and destroyed by a deterioration of the talent level at PGA Tour events.”

Klayman’s lawsuit also alleges a 34 percent increase in ticket pricing for the 2023 Players Championship from the 2022 staging, along with a 10 percent increase in “some packages for the Arnold Palmer Invitational,” referring to these increases as “supracompetitive prices.”

The complaint also alleges monopolization, attempted monopolization, group boycotts, refusal to deal and other related unfair trade practices.

“Consumers, that is Florida golf fans including me, have as much right as anyone to benefit from a free market, which would allow all golf leagues and independent contractor players to fairly compete,” said Klayman after filing. “But the Defendants have illegally worked hard to prevent this, as the PGA Tour and its co-conspirator Defendants will not tolerate honest and fair competition, as it will challenge their trillion dollar plus monopoly to totally dominate the golf world.

“But just like AT&T, their monopoly will be broken and the benefits will inure to the golf consumer as competition in the telecommunications industry benefitted consumers with new products and service providers, bringing down the price of service and equipment. This will allow golf fans more access to golf tournaments and the ability to see the best players in the world play against the best players in the world, no matter what tour they come from.”

Klayman, a former federal prosecutor and Senate candidate from Florida, is also representing Patrick Reed in his $750 million and $250 million defamation lawsuits that include NBC Golf Channel, employees Brandel Chamblee, Damon Hack, Shane Bacon and Eamon Lynch, Golf Week, the New York Post, Fox Sports, Shane Ryan and Doug Ferguson.

You can view the complete lawsuit here.

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