WWE & MLW Reach Settlement In Antitrust Lawsuit

WWE and MLW reach a settlement

WWE and Major League Wrestling have reached a settlement in their antitrust lawsuit. 

Lawyers for MLW and WWE filed a Notice of Settlement on Monday, December 11 according to Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics. The final settlement documents are expected to be filed within the next 30 days. 

"In accordance with the Court's Standing Order for Civil Cases, Section IV.F.1, Plaintiff MLW Media LLC and Defendant World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (together, the 'Parties'), hereby submit this Notice of Settlement to notify the Court that the Parties have settled this action. The Parties are in the process of completing the final settlement documents and expect to file the appropriate dismissal papers within the next thirty (30) days," the notice stated.

MLW filed a lawsuit against WWE in January 2022. The lawsuit was initially dismissed in March 2023 but an amended suit was allowed to proceed, with Judge Edward Avila in San Jose, California noting that MLW had "sufficiently pleaded circumstantial evidence of WWE's monopoly power." In particular, MLW's allegations that WWE generated 92% of the revenue from pro wrestling media rights was enough to show dominance in the market. 

MLW claimed within the lawsuit that WWE were impeding their ability "to compete in the licensing of its programming for distribution on streaming services and continues to threaten to deprive MLW of its ability to license its programming for distribution on cable." In particular, MLW alleged that WWE put pressure on Tubi TV to abandon their relationship with MLW before the announcement of a TV deal. It was also alleged that WWE put pressure on Vice TV to stop working with MLW. 

Mike Johnson of PWInsider has noted there is a lot of happiness amongst MLW talents following the settlement as it allows the promotion to move forward with finding a new TV deal. It also allows key figures to focus on the future as opposed to legal issues. 

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