What we’re watching: The LIV Golf v. PGA Tour litigation, filed in the Northern District of California involving claims for antitrust violations and various related contract-based claims.

Why we’re watching it: Aside from being avid golf enthusiasts and having just finished Full Swing, Netflix’s documentary that captured the start of the LIV-PGA brawl, we are now closely following the litigation as well.  The lawsuit was filed by LIV Golf bringing claims for antitrust violations, breach of contract and declaratory judgment against the PGA—alleging that the PGA has had monopsony power over the market for U.S golf events and engaged in anticompetitive conduct – such as threatening to expel or impose lifetime bans on those players who entered into contracts with LIV Golf. In response to the suit, the PGA counterclaimed, asserting claims for tortious interference with contract.

Recently, the main focus of the litigation has been over the reach of American courts to non-U.S. parties. It began with the PGA issuing subpoenas to third-party Saudi investors, who included the Public Investment Fund (“PIF”) of Saudi Arabia, and His Excellency Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan. LIV Golf asked the court to quash those subpoenas on the basis of sovereign immunity. However, the Court rejected those arguments and required those third-party investors to hand over discovery documents and sit for deposition. The Court has since also granted the PGA Tour’s motion seeking to add those same foreign parties as counter-defendants to the lawsuit. Since then, summons were issued seeking to officially bring both PIF and His Excellency into the lawsuit, while the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia filed a third-party amicus brief over its concerns in allowing such third-party discovery to go forward.

Check back for more updates from our litigators as the case unfolds!

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