On Monday, the Supreme Court brought months of speculation to an end with a startling decision on how US antitrust law applies to joint ventures. Reversing the lower courts, the Court held that the decision by the National Football League's licensing entity to grant an exclusive license is not the act of a single entity, but rather an agreement among the NFL teams, making it subject to Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. In broadly citing old antitrust case law for guidance, American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League suggests that all joint ventures will be subject to Section 1 scrutiny, potentially raising the costs of forming joint ventures in the first place.

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