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DECISIONS DECISIONS ANTITRUST the federal exemption from antitrust laws enjoyed by professional baseball pre-empts state antitrust laws, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said on May 27. Major League Baseball v. Crist, No. 02-10333. Pursuant to his authority under Florida’s antitrust statute, Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist issued civil investigative demands to Major League Baseball, the baseball commissioner, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Florida Marlins Baseball Club in connection with the proposed elimination of two teams from the major leagues. The two franchises and the commissioner responded by filing an action alleging that the “business of baseball” is exempt from antitrust enforcement suits and administrative investigations. The Florida federal court agreed with the plaintiffs. Invoking the supremacy clause, the 11th Circuit determined that, since it is established that the business of baseball is exempt from federal antitrust laws, it is also exempt from state antitrust laws as a matter of uniformity. It added that Crist’s investigative subpoenas violate the Fourth Amendment and Florida law because an agreement to eliminate or not to eliminate teams cannot violate state or federal antitrust laws.

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