NFL Fans Allege Merch Market Is A 'Horizontal Conspiracy'

By J. Edward Moreno (February 10, 2022, 5:09 PM EST) -- The National Football League is facing allegations from fans that it acts as a "walking horizontal conspiracy" that ices out competing retailers aiming to sell NFL-licensed wares by, among other things, monopolizing the team logo sportswear market and forcing consumers to pay higher prices for those items.

In a proposed class action filed in California federal court on Wednesday, the fans said that because the NFL owns all the intellectual property of its 32 teams, there is virtually no competition among teams to license their trademarks to competing manufacturers and retailers.

"In a competitive market, each team would compete to sell...

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