Official World Golf Ranking sued for allegedly colluding with PGA Tour

Official World Golf Ranking sued for allegedly colluding with PGA Tour

Attorney Larry Klayman announced the filing of a Second Amended Class Action Complaint in Palm Beach County’s 15th Judicial Circuit on Monday which alleges antitrust conspiracy to restrain trade and harm golf fans in the state of Florida, as well as “eliminate LIV Golf in its infancy. ”

Named in the court filing are the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour Golf Channel and the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).

The OWGR is alleged to be part of a conspiracy to restrain trade in violation of Florida’s antitrust laws because its board contains “the conflicted leadership of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour.” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley are both on the OWGR board.

The court filing alleges that consumers “have seen the quality of the product that they are paying for at PGA Tour events be diluted and destroyed by a deterioration of the talent level at PGA Tour events due to the exclusion of many of the top players in the world who have signed to LIV Golf.”

The court filing also claims tickets for the Players Championship in 2023 are 34 percent higher than in 2022, “and some packages for the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida are at least ten percent higher in 2023 than in 2022” and later refers to the increases as “supercompetitive prices.”

The complaint further alleviates monopolization, attempted monopolization, group boycotts and other unfair trade practices. The first amended class action complaint to name the OWGR was filed on Nov. 4. The second amended complaint was e-filed Nov. 11. Golfweek confirmed with the 15th Judicial Circuit the second complaint is still pending at the time of this post’s publication. Offices were closed on Nov. 9th and 10th due to Hurricane Nicole and also on Nov. 11th for Veterans Day.

The second amended action “seeks actual and compensatory damages, in an amount to be determined” by a jury.

“Consumers, that is Florida golf fans including me, have as much right as anyone to benefit from a free market, which would allow all golf leagues and independent contractor players to fairly compete,” said Klayman via a release. “But the Defendants have illegally worked hard to prevent this, as the PGA Tour and its co-conspirator Defendants will not tolerate honest and fair competition, as it will challenge their trillion dollar plus monopoly to totally dominate the golf world.”

While representing LIV Golf’s Patrick Reed, Klayman refiled a $750 million defamation lawsuit in late September to add Golf Channel’s Damon Hack, Shane Bacon, as well as Golfweek columnist Eamon Lynch and its parent company, Gannett. Earlier this month, Klayman filed a new $250 million suit against a number of other prominent golf media members and organizations, including author Shane Ryan, Hachette, the New York Post and Fox Sports, as well as Associated Press golf writer Doug Ferguson and the organization for whom he works.

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