Despite all the claims to the contrary, mostly by pro-boxing pundits and union workers with an ax to grind against Station Casinos, it appears as though Zuffa, the parent company of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), is not a monopoly after all.
Perhaps that ESPN "Outside the Lines" video expose was all smoke and no fire?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last Wednesday (Jan. 25, 2012) informed the law firm of Axinn, Veltrop, and Harkrider, retained by Zuffa to represent them during the inquiry, that it was closing its investigation into the world's largest fight promotion and that "no further action is warranted by the commission."
At least for now.
See an excerpt from that letter, after the jump.
The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition has been conducting a nonpublic investigation to determine whether Zuffa, LLC’s acquisition of Explosion Entertainment, LLC may violate Section 7 of the Clayton Act or Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. Upon further review of this matter, it now appears that no further action is warranted by the Commission at this time. Accordingly, the investigation has been closed. This action is not to be construed as a determination that a violation may not have occurred, just as the pendency of an investigation should not be construed as a determination that a violation has occurred. The Commission reserves the right to take such further action as the public interest may require.
A full copy of the letter is available on the FTC website here.
The UFC has long been a target of monopoly theorists as it gobbled up smaller, rival promotions, like the Strikeforce mixed martial arts (MMA) organization, formerly based in San Jose, in early 2011.
Anyone think this issue will be put to rest? Or is this merely a temporary reprieve?