US: Writers Guild seeks dismissal antitrust suit

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has filed for a dismissal of the antitrust suit filed by CAA, UTA, and WME, which accuses the union of engaging in an illegal group boycott, reported Variety. 

The WGA filed the motion Friday, October 11, in federal court in Los Angeles and sought a December 6 hearing before US District Court Judge Andre Birotte. The agencies had consolidated their complaint on September 27 and repeated allegations that were filed in individual agency suits in June and July, accusing the WGA of abusing its collective bargaining authority and engaging in an unlawful “power grab.”

The WGA wrote in its filing that the agencies’ federal antitrust claim fails because the guilds’ conduct is “fully protected” by the labor exemption in federal antitrust law.

“Separately and independently, the Agencies fail to plead that the Guilds agreed to unreasonably restrain trade, that the Guilds possess a dominant market position, and that the Agencies have suffered an antitrust injury,” the filing said.

The filing also said WGA West and the WGA East are acting within their statutory authority as exclusive representatives under the National Labor Relations Act.

“The Agencies provide no reason to set aside canonical labor law here,” the filing said. “They do not dispute that the Guilds may lawfully condition agents’ representation of Guild members on compliance with the Guilds’ standards; indeed, for decades, they accepted the Guilds’ authority to set such standards.”

Full Content: Variety

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