Today Major League Wrestling (MLW) filed an antitrust lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and according to the press release (which can be found below), MLW says it is based on "WWE's ongoing attempts to undermine competition" and "monopolize the professional wrestling market by interfering with MLW's contracts and business prospects." The suit goes onto say that WWE pressured third parties to abandon their contracts and relationships with MLW and that because of this there's been a disruption of MLW's business, with the release highlighting the major streaming deal that fell through that MLW says "would have been transformative for the company."
In the lawsuit, MLW also says that after they announced the deal with VICE TV, which airs its programs now, a WWE executive warned VICE TV that Vince McMahon was "pissed" that VICE was doing business with MLW. The VICE TV executive told that person that their conduct at the moment was illegal and an antitrust violation and the executive apparently responded that they could not control McMahon.
You can find the official release on the lawsuit in its entirety below.
"Professional wrestling company Major League Wrestling (MLW) (MLW Media LLC), filed a lawsuit today against World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE). The federal court antitrust lawsuit is based on WWE's ongoing attempts to undermine competition in and monopolize the professional wrestling market by interfering with MLW's contracts and business prospects.
As described in the complaint, WWE pressured third parties to abandon contracts and prospective relationships with MLW. WWE's misconduct included disrupting every level of MLW's business, including a major streaming deal for MLW which would have been transformative for the company.
MLW also allege in the complaint that in early 2021, after MLW announced that it was in talks with VICE TV to air MLW programs on VICE TV, a then-WWE executive warned VICE TV that WWE owner Vince McMahon was "pissed" that VICE TV was airing MLW programs, and that VICE TV should stop working with MLW, the VICE TV executive responded that WWE's conduct was illegal and an antitrust violation, with the WWE executive responding that she could not control McMahon.
"WWE has been wrongfully depriving its competitors of critical opportunities for many years, but its latest conduct has been even more unconscionable," said MLW CEO Court Bauer. "I think we speak for the rest of the professional wrestling world when we say that this anti-competitive behavior has to stop."
WWE's ongoing misconduct has hurt fans of professional wrestling and competition in the professional wrestling industry. Through this lawsuit, MLW seeks to recover its losses due to WWE's interference and to enjoin WWE from future interference.
The case is captioned MLW Media LLC v. World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. MLW is represented by Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP."