Bellator has filed an objection to unsealing their financial details

Discussion in 'Worldwide MMA Discussion' started by careto, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. Hellowhosthat Gold Belt

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    I don't think anyone could actually afford to pay those fighters what they want unless a new player entered the market seeing an opportunity, which is possible.
     
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  2. careto Brown Belt

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    True, particularly someone like Jon Jones, it would be impossible for other promotion to afford what he was asking for without going bankrupt. I guess this new legislation would facilitate a new player to enter the market and negotiate the salary of these fighters based on PPV performance, like Masvidal suggested. I think, more than anything, this type of legislation would be bad news for promotions because without a being able to lock fighters with restrictive contracts they would be forced to negotiate better wages with fighters or run the risk of losing them in the short term. In other words, it would give fighters different options for negotiating their contracts and look out for the free market and see their value. In the end, it would be positive for the fighters, which is apparently what this lawsuit is trying to bring.
     
  3. Phrozenspite Red Belt

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    this, plus the whole restrictive contracts thing.. lots of industries have that. Activision suing netflix for CEO poaching for example, people locked out of working for competitors. There is a beverage distributor in my town, and their employees aren't allowed to wear competitors logos(they don't distribute monster for example). Now as a whole are those all anti worker things that should probably change? Yeah.. but saying that the UFC is the bad guy for doing what nearly every other industry seems to do... thats shortsighted
     
  4. careto Brown Belt

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    I think the difference here is that other industries have more competition among them. There isnt a lot of competition in MMA outside the UFC; they are the big boys in town and it isnt even close. The reality is that the UFC has 70%-75% of all the elite athletes and if on top of that they keep absorbing rival companies then that number will just keep increasing. The argument they are making is that they have been able to get to that position and maintain that position through business practices that should be considered illegal. Basically, they are arguing that those business practices allow them to drive competition out of business and at the same time it also hurts the interests of the fighters.

    Dont get me wrong, the UFC SHOULD be the big boys in town because they are the ones who have made MMA mainstream a possibility but in a court of law a judge might find those business practices illegal.
     
  5. EndlessCritic Steel Belt

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    The entire lawsuit is premised on UFC having monopoly control of the market.

    If Bellator's financial information is so sensitive, it's effectively proof that the UFC is not a monopoly.
     
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  6. careto Brown Belt

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    How so?
     
  7. EndlessCritic Steel Belt

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    Bellator is saying they need to keep their financial information sensitive to compete with the UFC.

    If Bellator is right that they are an actual competitor, then the UFC is not a monopoly.
     
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  8. careto Brown Belt

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    OK, I see your point. I'm not sure Bellator is actual competition to the supremacy of the UFC but they do compete for some talents, so I guess to some degree they are competitors.
     
  9. skylolow Silver Belt

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    Competition is always revolving in all avenues of business. There isn't a single org the UFC bought that won't have gone under on their own and the UFC has the financials to prove that from those sales. Not to mention outside of the WEC all the orgs where up for sale. UFC was buying media content and some contracts more or less with all the sales (Strikeforce deal did come with some media time). There wasn't really a single org that was really threatening the UFC's bottom line by 2009. Now did that lead to unfair compensation or treatment of fighters, I don't know and I have no idea how you prove that. Guys like Frank Shamrock have cried about the UFC since the early 2000's when the UFC was losing money. The UFC by far pays the most on average from top to bottom. They have consistently increased pay as the business and revenue grew. An employee/contractor out of 100's complains it's just par for the course in any business. Maybe some of it holds water but a lot is probably just crying after the fact.

    I don't know enough about how Anti Trust lawsuits work in court and how rulings work in them. I can see the fighters winning on the side of contract language for example, but I think it's a massive uphill battle on the UFC just being a bully compared to just better business practices than everyone else that led them to the success they found. Everyone thinks they should make more money or get the promotion and to prove a company is screwing you intentionally is pretty hard thing to do. I'm just not sure what the judge can rule on and what he can't, what can be enforced moving forward or to what power they have to force any change in business direction.

    It will be interesting to see where this all goes. I just got a feeling all this will end with next to nothing changing for current fighters. These fighters have to get together, it happens in all sports as the sports grows eventually to get your piece of the pie you have to come together. Individual battles only help individuals.
     
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  10. skylolow Silver Belt

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    Very true to some level.

    Proving someone has a monopoly is hard battle to win.

    You're right that this lawsuit as much as they don't want to use the term monopoly that is more or less what they are saying.
     
  11. TheBiggestLittleTinyMan White Belt

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    Really dumb argument, every small business would be disadvantaged relative to huge multinationals if they had their full financial details released, that doesn't mean joe's convenience is a viable competitor to walmart. That more information regarding internal organization being released advantages the stronger party is true in nearly every case. It's very plain to anyone who knows anything about the sport that the UFC can exert monopoly power, they control all the notoriety of fighters, have a monopoly on public perception, and are the only company in the last 2ish decades to have actually turned a profit in the industry.

    But this line of spurious reasoning is very likely what the UFC lawyers will pursue, and they will probably succeed since US courts are very well disposed towards US based monopolies like google and amazon. Maybe if all the European fighters had filed in their home countries they would have a slim chance, I sincerely doubt the UFC will lose much from this suit. The only cause for concern might be that since the UFC isn't an important arm of the state for foreign influence like google or amazon the government may not bother to put a finger on the scale, but they probably wouldn't have to. The judicial system knows which side their bread's buttered on.

    The only plausible way viable competition to the UFC arises is if an already entrenched company (Viacom would be a good contender, but they haven't shown much interest in it) decides they're going to pump the requisite hundreds of millions (at least) into the business in order to produce a challenger and hopefully turn a profit in a decade or so. It's not gonna come from this lawsuit, trustbusting in the US is dead.
     
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  12. EndlessCritic Steel Belt

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    Thanks. I appreciate that you understand that I am right.
     
  13. TheBiggestLittleTinyMan White Belt

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    Wow, you win the internet fight! Sorry, I thought you and others might actually be interested in understanding the case.
     
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  14. philweed I'm the oldest I've ever been, right now.

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    Who are these losers that want to see the organizations’ financials?
     
  15. Hellowhosthat Gold Belt

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    I think he's a lawyer IIRC.
     
  16. TheBiggestLittleTinyMan White Belt

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    Makes sense, his argument's pure bullshit. That there are attempts to operate in the same market don't preclude the possibility of the UFC being able to exercise monopoly or monopsony power (which it obviously does). Every post about Bellator's signings has the obligatory "they only got them because the ufc let them go" or "the ufc wasn't interested" which is true, if only mentioned to shit on bellator. Their ability to manipulate the price of assets within the market and deny strategic resources to competitors is huge (this extends not only to fighters but also to things like network contracts, deals with venues and advertisers, the particulars of which it is impossible to know).

    A monopoly doesn't mean that no one could possibly be in the same business, it's that they have sufficient control of the market that they can effectively thwart the ability of competitors to be largely profitable or experience significant growth (that the UFC is probably the only major mma promotion in history to have net profitability attests to this). Counterfactuals about how something might happen to challenge the UFC's uncontested dominance are worthless in assessing the actual state of the market, of which the UFC controls an unassailable majority (90%? More?).

    All that being said, judges aren't apt to disrupt entrenched megacorps in general, this kind of fallacious reasoning should be more than enough to persuade someone who's inclined to rule in their favor anyway.
     
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  17. skylolow Silver Belt

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    You're correct.

    To what degree the UFC controls the market inner workings is a tough nut to crack in a lawsuit and get a ruling in your favor. Also what control if you can prove it is even illegal. Telling arena "x" they won't come back if you hold another MMA event here isn't exactly anything new and not even sure if it violates anything. In the world music concerts it's quite common practice but usually has time limits and distance associated with it. We all know exclusivity raises the value of whatever in most cases.

    Someone like Bellator has deep pocket ownership to spend more money on the product, connections under the Viacom umbrella the UFC can't control in anyway, and could work to be a competitor on some level. The problem is the consumer associates MMA with the UFC and Viacom doesn't seem to want to spend the money on MMA to get blow joe to care about another brand, Bellator. They just kind of operate Bellator in the bubble of cheap live sports with a large media catalog to utilize to fill air time on one of their networks and sell some international media deals. Never seems like they ever go all in.


    In the end, it isn't some lawsuit like that will probably lead to drastic change. It's the fighters coming together and pushing for change. It has happen in just about every sport and a lot of businesses throughout history. Until then a lot of this stuff is nothing more than individual gains.
     
  18. SubsmotherLMJVG White Belt

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    Cough cough UFC contenders series and undercards.
     
  19. SubsmotherLMJVG White Belt

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    As they should be able to their independent contractors.
     
  20. SubsmotherLMJVG White Belt

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    Yeah competition breeds better mma and options for fighters and reach exposure than 1 company!
     
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