FTC Closes UFC Investigation
The Federal Trade Commission has concluded and closed a six-month, nonpublic investigation of Zuffa LLC., the owners of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and will not take further action at this time, an FTC spokesperson confirmed to SI.com on Tuesday.
According to closing letters to parties involved that were made public Tuesday, the FTC Bureau of Competition investigation focused on Zuffa’s March 2011 acquisition of Explosion Entertainment LLC., which owned the rival Strikeforce promotion, and whether the purchase violated Section 7 of the Clayton Antitrust Act or Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
Section 7 of the Clayton Act “prohibits mergers and acquisitions when the effect may be substantially to lessen competition, or tend to a create a monopoly,” according to FTC guidelines.
Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.’’
“No action has been taken in regards to this part of the investigation,” said the FTC spokesperson, though he said the governmental agency reserves the right to revisit the matter in the public’s interest.
Zuffa purchased Explosion Entertainment, established by Scott Coker and Silicon Valley Sports and Entertainment, a sports franchise company, for a reported $40 million. Coker became the general manager for Strikeforce, which plans to hold six events on Showtime this year.
A remarkable set back for the unilateral effects enforcement agenda at the agencies to be sure.