WWE files motion to dismiss MLW's antitrust lawsuit

Originally published at WWE files motion to dismiss MLW's antitrust lawsuit

WWE files to dismiss MLW’s lawsuit.

This past January, Major League Wrestling (MLW Media LLC) filed an antitrust lawsuit against WWE, noting that their lawsuit is based on WWE’s attempt to undermine competition and monopolize the pro wrestling business by hindering MLW’s contracts and business prospects.

Today, WWE filed a motion to dismiss that lawsuit. Here is that filing:

First, WWE moves pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) to dismiss MLW’s federal antitrust claim because MLW failed to plausibly plead (1) a facially sustainable relevant market, (2) monopoly power or anticompetitive conduct, or (3) antitrust injury. WWE further moves to dismiss MLW’s remaining state law claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) because the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over them if the federal antitrust claim is dismissed.

Second, WWE moves pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) to dismiss all state law claims should this Court exercises jurisdiction over them.

MLW’s claim for intentional interference with contractual relations is unsupported by factual allegations, and what allegations MLW pleads are entirely implausible. MLW’s claim for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage fails because MLW does not allege that WWE knew about MLW’s negotiations to sell a third party first-run programming, nor does MLW plausibly allege that WWE’s alleged single communication with the third party influenced its decision not to purchase MLW’s content.

Finally, MLW’s unfair competition claim fails because (1) it is not tethered to some other viable antitrust or tort claim, and (2) MLW lacks Article III and statutory standing to assert such a claim.

Finally, WWE moves pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(5) to dismiss MLW’s complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction because neither party is a resident of California, no harm specific to California is alleged, and none of the alleged misconduct took place in California.

WWE has filed a motion today to dismiss MLW's lawsuit in California, which was filed in January, alleging WWE interfered in potential MLW media deals including one with Tubi.

The filing is 35 pages. I'll be working on a summary of WWE's response. pic.twitter.com/im2HigrMB6

— Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston) March 15, 2022

The United States District Court for the Northern District of California set a hearing for September 29th to hear arguments on WWE’s motion.