Text: S.53 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 105-297 (10/27/1998)

 
[105th Congress Public Law 297]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


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[DOCID: f:publ297.105]


[[Page 2823]]

                         CURT FLOOD ACT OF 1998

[[Page 112 STAT. 2824]]

Public Law 105-297
105th Congress

                                 An Act


 
To require the general application of the antitrust laws to major league 
  baseball, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: Oct. 27, 1998 -  [S. 53]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Curt Flood Act 
of 1998.>> 

SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 15 USC 1 note.>> SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Curt Flood Act of 1998''.

SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 15 USC 27a note.>> PURPOSE.

    It is the purpose of this legislation to state that major league 
baseball players are covered under the antitrust laws (i.e., that major 
league baseball players will have the same rights under the antitrust 
laws as do other professional athletes, e.g., football and basketball 
players), along with a provision that makes it clear that the passage of 
this Act does not change the application of the antitrust laws in any 
other context or with respect to any other person or entity.
SEC. 3.  <<NOTE: 15 USC 27a.>> APPLICATION OF THE ANTITRUST LAWS 
                    TO PROFESSIONAL MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL.

    The Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. Sec. 12 et seq.) is amended by adding at 
the end the following new section:
    ``Sec. 27. (a) Subject to subsections (b) through (d), the conduct, 
acts, practices, or agreements of persons in the business of organized 
professional major league baseball directly relating to or affecting 
employment of major league baseball players to play baseball at the 
major league level are subject to the antitrust laws to the same extent 
such conduct, acts, practices, or agreements would be subject to the 
antitrust laws if engaged in by persons in any other professional sports 
business affecting interstate commerce.
    ``(b) No court shall rely on the enactment of this section as a 
basis for changing the application of the antitrust laws to any conduct, 
acts, practices, or agreements other than those set forth in subsection 
(a). This section does not create, permit or imply a cause of action by 
which to challenge under the antitrust laws, or otherwise apply the 
antitrust laws to, any conduct, acts, practices, or agreements that do 
not directly relate to or affect employment of major league baseball 
players to play baseball at the major league level, including but not 
limited to--
            ``(1) any conduct, acts, practices, or agreements of persons 
        engaging in, conducting or participating in the business of 
        organized professional baseball relating to or affecting 
        employment to play baseball at the minor league level, any 
        organized

[[Page 112 STAT. 2825]]

        professional baseball amateur or first-year player draft, or any 
        reserve clause as applied to minor league players;
            ``(2) the agreement between organized professional major 
        league baseball teams and the teams of the National Association 
        of Professional Baseball Leagues, commonly known as the 
        `Professional Baseball Agreement', the relationship between 
        organized professional major league baseball and organized 
        professional minor league baseball, or any other matter relating 
        to organized professional baseball's minor leagues;
            ``(3) any conduct, acts, practices, or agreements of persons 
        engaging in, conducting or participating in the business of 
        organized professional baseball relating to or affecting 
        franchise expansion, location or relocation, franchise ownership 
        issues, including ownership transfers, the relationship between 
        the Office of the Commissioner and franchise owners, the 
        marketing or sales of the entertainment product of organized 
        professional baseball and the licensing of intellectual property 
        rights owned or held by organized professional baseball teams 
        individually or collectively;
            ``(4) any conduct, acts, practices, or agreements protected 
        by Public Law 87-331 (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1291 et seq.) (commonly 
        known as the `Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961');
            ``(5) the relationship between persons in the business of 
        organized professional baseball and umpires or other individuals 
        who are employed in the business of organized professional 
        baseball by such persons; or
            ``(6) any conduct, acts, practices, or agreements of persons 
        not in the business of organized professional major league 
        baseball.

    ``(c) Only a major league baseball player has standing to sue under 
this section. For the purposes of this section, a major league baseball 
player is--
            ``(1) a person who is a party to a major league player's 
        contract, or is playing baseball at the major league level; or
            ``(2) a person who was a party to a major league player's 
        contract or playing baseball at the major league level at the 
        time of the injury that is the subject of the complaint; or
            ``(3) a person who has been a party to a major league 
        player's contract or who has played baseball at the major league 
        level, and who claims he has been injured in his efforts to 
        secure a subsequent major league player's contract by an alleged 
        violation of the antitrust laws: Provided however, That for the 
        purposes of this paragraph, the alleged antitrust violation 
        shall not include any conduct, acts, practices, or agreements of 
        persons in the business of organized professional baseball 
        relating to or affecting employment to play baseball at the 
        minor league level, including any organized professional 
        baseball amateur or first-year player draft, or any reserve 
        clause as applied to minor league players; or
            ``(4) a person who was a party to a major league player's 
        contract or who was playing baseball at the major league level 
        at the conclusion of the last full championship season 
        immediately preceding the expiration of the last collective 
        bargaining agreement between persons in the business of 
        organized professional major league baseball and the exclusive 
        collective bargaining representative of major league baseball 
        players.

[[Page 112 STAT. 2826]]

    ``(d)(1) As used in this section, `person' means any entity, 
including an individual, partnership, corporation, trust or 
unincorporated association or any combination or association thereof. As 
used in this section, the National Association of Professional Baseball 
Leagues, its member leagues and the clubs of those leagues, are not `in 
the business of organized professional major league baseball'.
    ``(2) In cases involving conduct, acts, practices, or agreements 
that directly relate to or affect both employment of major league 
baseball players to play baseball at the major league level and also 
relate to or affect any other aspect of organized professional baseball, 
including but not limited to employment to play baseball at the minor 
league level and the other areas set forth in subsection (b), only those 
components, portions or aspects of such conduct, acts, practices, or 
agreements that directly relate to or affect employment of major league 
players to play baseball at the major league level may be challenged 
under subsection (a) and then only to the extent that they directly 
relate to or affect employment of major league baseball players to play 
baseball at the major league level.
    ``(3) As used in subsection (a), interpretation of the term 
`directly' shall not be governed by any interpretation of section 151 et 
seq. of title 29, United States Code (as amended).
    ``(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the 
application to organized professional baseball of the nonstatutory labor 
exemption from the antitrust laws.
    ``(5) The scope of the conduct, acts, practices, or agreements 
covered by subsection (b) shall not be strictly or narrowly 
construed.''.

    Approved October 27, 1998.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 53:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

SENATE REPORTS: No. 105-118 (Comm. on the Judiciary).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 144 (1998):
            July 30, considered and passed Senate.
            Oct. 7, considered and passed House.
WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS, Vol. 34 (1998):
            Oct. 27, Presidential statement.

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