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The City of Oakland has sued the Oakland Raiders, the National Football League and its remaining 31 teams, claiming that they’ve conspired to “boycott” the city in favor of moving to Las Vegas in violation of the antitrust laws and in breach of the league’s own relocation policies.

According to the lawsuit, filed by attorneys in the City Attorney’s office, Berg & Androphy and Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, the $378 million “relocation fee” that the Raiders paid acted as “supra-competitive cartel payments” to the league’s other team owners. The lawsuit claims that the league and its teams ignored their own policy of making relocation decisions based on each club’s obligation to “advance the interest of the League in its home territory.”

“Defendants openly ignored those Policies and approved the Raiders’ relocation not because of some perceived lack of support by Oakland – or some concern about what Oakland was willing to pay or not pay toward a new or renovated stadium – but because of the supra-competitive payment Defendants coerced from Las Vegas which they would individually pocket by supporting the move,” the city’s lawyers wrote. “This is a case of leveraging of monopoly power, resulting in an anticompetitive wealth transfer from municipalities to private business, in violation of the antitrust laws.”

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Ross Todd

Ross Todd is the Editor/columnist for the Am Law Litigation Daily. He writes about litigation of all sorts. Previously, Ross was the Bureau Chief of The Recorder, ALM's California affiliate. Contact Ross at [email protected] On Twitter: @Ross_Todd.

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