Decide Dismisses WGA Claims That Packaging Charges Are ‘Kickbacks’ – Selection

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A federal decide on Monday dismissed a lot of the Writers Guild of America’s lawsuit towards the main expertise companies, together with claims that packaging charges quantity to unlawful kickbacks.

U.S. District Decide Andre Birotte dismissed eight of the 14 claims introduced by the WGA in its countersuit in October. The countersuit is a part of a broader battle between the guild and the main companies over the apply of packaging.

The companies — WME, CAA and UTA — initially filed an antitrust swimsuit towards the union final summer season. The companies claimed that the union had instigated an unlawful group boycott by directing members to fireplace their brokers when the companies refused to cease taking packaging charges.

The union alleges that packaging charges — commonplace apply within the trade for many years — pose a battle of curiosity, as brokers are incentivized to suppress their purchasers’ wages.

The guild has been defending the companies’ antitrust swimsuit, and filed its personal countersuit final fall. Within the countersuit, the guild leveled its personal antitrust allegations, accusing the companies of conspiring collectively via the auspices of their commerce group and refusing to cut price individually.

The countersuit additionally alleged that companies had set an trade commonplace packaging charge schedule, which amounted to unlawful price-fixing. Additional, the guild contended that the companies’ acceptance of packaging charges amounted to an unlawful kickback underneath racketeering regulation.

Birotte dismissed the racketeering allegations, discovering that the regulation was geared toward corrupt union officers and was not meant to use to expertise brokers.

He additionally dismissed a declare of price-fixing, discovering that the WGA didn’t have standing to convey the declare as a result of, as a union, it doesn’t purchase expertise illustration providers.

The decide additionally held that the companies had not violated antitrust regulation by working via their commerce group.

Extra to come back…

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