NEW YORK (CN) – While ruling that Madison Square Garden “faces a tall order in making its case,” a federal judge allowed the arena’s antitrust case against the National Hockey League to proceed. The Garden challenged the NHL’s “New Media Strategy,” which will require, among other things, that the Garden’s New York Rangers Web site be moved to an NHL-operated server.
U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska denied the Garden’s request for a preliminary injunction in November 2007. Here, the Garden “challenges a far broader swath of the League’s restrictions on Member Clubs’ operations as unreasonable restraints of trade”.
Preska granted in part and denied in part the Garden’s request for summary judgment. “At this early stage of litigation, there is no evidence in the record on the crucial question of market definition, let alone the inquiry into how the NHL actually operates as an economic actor in that market,” Judge Preska wrote. “Therefore the NHL’s arguments in favor of dismissal cannot be resolved at the pleading stage, and the motion is denied.”
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