Oral argument: Jan. 13, 2010
Appealed from: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Aug. 18, 2008)
ANTITRUST, SHERMAN ACT, PROFESSIONAL SPORTS, NFL, MONOPOLY
In 2001, the National Football League ("NFL") granted Reebok International Ltd. ("Reebok") an exclusive license to manufacture headwear featuring the logos and trademarks of every professional football team in the NFL. Because of this new arrangement, American Needle, Inc. (“ANI”) lost its 20-year license to manufacture such apparel. ANI argues that the NFL's contract with Reebok violates the Sherman Act, because the NFL and its member teams should not be considered a single economic entity. The NFL and Reebok contend that the member teams are united to produce a common product, namely professional football games, and thus are a single entity that is not subject to the regulations of the Sherman Act. In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether or not the NFL is a single entity under Section 1 of the Sherman Act.