San Jose Appeals Ruling On Baseball’s Anti-Trust Exemption In Battle Over A’s

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Coco Crisp, Josh Donaldson

Coco Crisp and Josh Donaldson (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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SAN JOSE (KCBS) – San Jose’s five-year court battle to bring the A’s from Oakland took another legal turn Wednesday when the city filed a federal appeal to the anti-trust case dismissed by a judge last year.

The city’s efforts to bring the baseball team to San Jose have been stymied by the Giants territorial rights to the area within Major League Baseball, so San Jose has petitioned the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to end baseball’s exemption to federal anti-trust laws.

“Every other professional sport—basketball, football, hockey, you name it—has to live by the laws,” said Joe Cotchett, the attorney representing San Jose in the case.

Cotchett said the federal court needs to revisit the 1922 Supreme Court decision that the Sherman Antitrust Act does not apply to MLB, a ruling he said was part of a bygone era.

“In today’s day and age, when competitors operate in the marketplace, they cannot divide up a territory,” Cotchett said.

MLB has not responded to calls for comment. A spokesperson for the Oakland A’s said the team was not in a position to comment on the pending appeal.

Cotchett says MLB will respond to the court on April 4. He anticipates the case to be argued by May.

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