NEW YORK (CN) – Major League Baseball Properties does not improperly depress the baseball collectibles market through its distribution of licensing revenue, the 2nd Circuit ruled.
Salvino Inc. manufactures the Bammers line of bean-filled bears, and it obtained licenses to use the names and numbers of MLB players, including one for Hank Aaron to commemorate his 25th anniversary of breaking Babe Ruth’s career home-run record.
However, Salvino distributed a line of Bammers with the Arizona Diamondbacks logo without obtaining a license from MLB Properties.
Salvino responded with an antitrust suit, alleging that MLB Properties equal distribution of funds to all 30 baseball teams reduces each team’s incentive to market its products.
Judge Kearse agreed with the trial court that Salvino did not prove that he was damaged by MLB Properties’ actions.
“Given that what Salvino refers to as price fixing is in fact profit sharing by independent entities,” Judge Kearse wrote, “and that Salvino adduced no evidence of an agreement to reduce output, Salvino failed to show any genuine issues to be tried.”