William Morris Endeavor (WME) has filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the Writers Guild of America (WGA), accusing the guild of engaging in an illegal group boycott in its campaign to prevent talent agencies from collecting packaging fees.
WME’s complaint against the WGA West and WGA East accused the unions of conspiring to unreasonably restrict competition by implementing its Agency Code of Conduct in April. The battle between the WGA and Hollywood’s largest talent agencies led to thousands of film and TV writers firing their talent agents in April, and it sparked a lawsuit filed in California state court against WME, CAA, UTA, and ICM Partners.
WME asserts that the WGA has engaged in a “concerted refusal to deal” that violates the antitrust exceptions in federal law that are offered to collective bargaining organizations. WME is seeking an injunction on the WGA’s enforcement of its Code of Conduct as well as undetermined damages.
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