NFL, Fanatics Accused Of Monopolizing Amazon Market

By Max Jaeger (December 22, 2021, 8:21 PM EST) -- The NFL, its 32 teams and merchandise powerhouse Fanatics allegedly weaponized their licensing policy to "strangle the competition" on Amazon and drive up prices for consumers, according to a pair of putative federal class actions filed in California on Wednesday.

After a roughly $95 million equity investment in Fanatics in 2017, the NFL began threatening to withhold fan gear licensing from distributors who supplied the merch to Amazon retailers other than Fanatics, according to lawsuits by Nebraska merchant Casey's Distributing and Ohio consumer Natalie Wheeler Hastings.

"Fanatics recognized the problem that robust competition on Amazon posed to it. … Faced with...

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