Sports and Competition Law in India: The Need for a Third Umpire?

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Nisha Kaur Uberoi, Cyril Shroff, Jan 14, 2014

In today’s world of increased internationalization and commercialization of sports, the relationship between competition law and sports cannot be underplayed. Given the emergence and rapid growth of economic interests in sports, it certainly cannot escape the application of competition law principles. While competition law authorities in the European Union and the United States have recognized the concept of a “sporting exception” in the 20th century in order to appreciate the distinctive characteristics of sports, the ambit of such an exception is seen to be shrinking given the increasing commercialization of sports.

However, there is sufficient rationale to support the sporting exception premised on the notion that sports should be treated differently from other “ordinary” industries/sectors given its special characteristics and its significant social, cultural, and recreational features.