MLW Files Lawsuit Against WWE

Major League Wrestling made its return in 2017 under the ownership of former WWE writer Court Bauer. Bauer is now reportedly suing the top professional wrestling promotion in the world, citing an alleged monopoly on the industry that MLW claims goes against federal antitrust laws.

MLW Media LLC vs World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. says that “ongoing attempts to undermine competition and monopolize the professional wrestling market by interfering with MLW’s contracts and business prospects,” an MLW statement released says, “as described in the complain, WWE pressured third parties to abandon contracts and prospective relationships with MLW.”

MLW is represented by Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP. MLW’s main complaint fixates on MLW’s Tubi deal being withdrawn. Tubi Inc., a subsidiary of FOX, is implicated in the lawsuit because MLW had a deal in place with Tubi, despite FOX and WWE having a billion-dollar deal for the rights of SmackDown in place. It’s alleged in the suit that Vince McMahon, WWE’s chairman, threatened to cease doing business with FOX if the Tubi-MLW deal remained in place. MLW declares the deal falling through as “a substantial loss.”

MLW also imputes that the VICE deal that they currently have to air MLW content was threatened by McMahon. McMahon allegedly told a VICE TV executive to pull MLW, however, the suit claims that the executive told WWE that their conduct was illegal. VICE, has however, pulled MLW content from their network.

“WWE has been wrongfully depriving its competitors of critical opportunities for many years, but its latest conduct has been even more unconscionable,” MLW CEO Court Bauer recited in a statement, per The Wrap.  “I think we speak for the rest of the professional wrestling world when we say that this anti-competitive behavior has to stop.”

According to Forbes, WWE has released the following statement: “WWE believes these claims have no merit and intends to vigorously defend itself against them.”

Bodyslam will keep you updated as more information becomes available.

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