A current lawsuit against UFC could lead to WWE having its own problems.
On August 9, a federal judge granted class certification to plaintiffs in an antitrust lawsuit originally filed against the MMA giant in 2014. This means that it will now be a class action suit, allowing 1,200 fighters to sue UFC for alleged unfair business practices.
The lawsuit claims that UFC has “abused its market power to suppress fighter pay” and will include any fighter who competed in the promotion between December 16th, 2010, and June 30th, 2017.
According to Dave Meltzer in the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, the suit could have ramifications for WWE since the two companies are in the process of merging under Endeavour.
“The judge was pretty specific and very much was like the judge in the MLW case and was pretty negative when it comes to the big company and having 90% market share and abusing that power to keep salaries low.
“There are differences, but there are more similarities than differences between WWE and UFC when it comes to this because WWE has been far more anti-competitive than the UFC has.
“In terms of trying to keep other companies from flourishing, now they have not been as successful because of AEW – there is no AEW in MMA, there are people who want to be AEW like ONE and PFW…but the whole thing as far as this [is] the risks of the trial are very bad for Endeavour if this goes to trial and they lose [because] it pretty much guarantees that the ruling that would come out of the trial would be used against WWE so they would have a second lawsuit, especially now they have merged.
“So it behooves them to settle out of court but if they settle out of court it would be a lot of money. Doing that you are still going to open it up because someone is going to see that they settled out of court… and it’s the same company who runs the WWE. It’s almost a guarantee that it would happen if the UFC lawsuit is successful in any sort of way.”
WWE recently provided an update on MLW lawsuit
Among other accusations, MLW claims WWE engaged in “unfair business practices” including interfering with contracts and poaching talent. In its filing, WWE stated it believes the claims to be “without merit” and will defend itself “vigorously”. The company’s response to the complaint is due by August 14th.
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