TMS Monte Carlo has filed a lawsuit against the ATP for "violating antitrust laws" [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

TMS Monte Carlo has filed a lawsuit against the ATP for "violating antitrust laws"

Raquel
04-09-2007, 02:51 PM
First Hamburg, now Monte Carlo.....

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/070409/nym055.html?.v=71

Press Release Source: Monte Carlo Masters Series

ATP Violates Antitrust Laws, Lawsuit Alleges
Monday April 9, 9:52 am ET
Monte Carlo Masters tournament rejects downgrading by the ATP

MONTE CARLO, Monaco, April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The Monte Carlo Masters Series has today filed an antitrust lawsuit against the ATP Tour, Inc. (ATP), the governing body of the men's professional tennis circuit. The suit, filed in the US federal district court in Delaware, argues that the plan being put forward by ATP's management to downgrade the status of Monte Carlo's Tournament is a clear violation of US antitrust laws and would irreparably damage the status of a thriving world-class and historically significant tennis tournament.

This suit, together with another recently filed by the Hamburg Masters Series for similar reasons, marks the latest in a series of vigorous objections to the so-called "Brave New World" restructuring plan, being pushed through by the ATP's Chairman, Etienne de Villiers, despite increasingly forceful objections from around the tennis world. The plan has outraged the world's top players who voiced their strong discontent to the ATP's management at the recent Miami Masters Tournament.

The lawsuit alleges that the ATP has conspired to restrain competition by downgrading the status of the Monte Carlo Tournament by slashing prize money and halving the ranking points available to players at the tournament. These steps, the lawsuit alleges, will:

-- Harm players' ability to compete in the tournaments of their choosing;
-- Harm consumers by reducing the number of prestigious top-tier
professional men's tennis tournaments;
-- Harm sponsors by decreasing the number of premium tournaments available
for sponsorship or broadcasting;
-- Harm organizers by limiting the number of high-profile tournaments in
their community or country.

The lawsuit was filed in Delaware as the corporate home of the ATP. Monte Carlo is seeking a permanent injunction and treble damages.

The Monte Carlo Tournament is among the most feted in tennis history, dating back to 1897. Legendary players including Bill Tilden, Roy Emerson, Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Boris Becker, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have competed at Monte Carlo. Last year, more than 100,000 people attended the tournament and millions watched on television around the world. The tournament is one of the founding top nine events that made up the ATP tour when the tour was created in 1989 to represent the interests of men's professional tennis.

Both players and tournament organizers have complained that the current ATP management is not representing the best interests of tennis and has not given the players or tournaments a real say in the future of the ATP.

Madame de Massy, the President of the Tournament Committee stated: "We are asking the Court in the US to declare this plan illegal and are calling upon the ATP's management to listen to the message that the tennis world is sending: stop this plan before it causes real damage to tennis."

Monte Carlo Masters Series Tournament Director Zeljko Franulovic (himself a former winner of the Tournament) added: "Today marks a sad day for tennis when we are forced to take legal action against our own representative body to prevent it from destroying more than 100 years of tennis history in pursuit of its own financial goals -- and at the expense of fans, players, tournaments, and sponsors."

Notes to Editors:

In 2006 the Monte-Carlo tennis tournament attracted more than 100,000 spectators and millions of television viewers worldwide. It has played host to the world's greatest players over the decades, is described as the "jewel in the crown" of men's professional tennis and has received a number of awards from the ATP itself in recent years, including for "Sustained Excellence".

As the first top-tier tournament held in Europe each year, Monte-Carlo marks the traditional beginning of the spring clay-court season, which runs up to the French Open in Paris. Given Monaco's favorable weather, Monte-Carlo is one of the few European venues that can host a major clay-court tournament in mid-April. This year's Monte Carlo Masters Tournament runs from 14-22 April and again expects to play in front of a full house.

While the ATP's management has claimed that the restructured calendar is not yet officially finalized, and an "application process" is underway, the ATP's officers have also openly discussed in the press and elsewhere what the final outcome will be: the downgrading of both Monte Carlo and Hamburg.

The plan will violate US antitrust laws because it will eliminate the ability of Monte Carlo to compete to attract significant numbers of top-tier players, despite a century of success in doing so, by forcing (through a system of penalties) players to participate in other tournaments that they may not wish to play, making it very unlikely that they will also have the ability to play Monte Carlo. The plan will also slash prize money and halve the ranking points available at Monte Carlo's tournament.


Source: Monte Carlo Masters Series

rofe
04-09-2007, 02:58 PM
Let the circus begin. Thanks for nothing Mr. Disney.

jazar
04-09-2007, 03:00 PM
monte carlo should stay a masters series, its one of the best. they have every right to feel aggrieved. disney's changes may not have been good, but they sure have created controversy and they do say controversy sells

Action Jackson
04-09-2007, 03:04 PM
Hahahaha.

Come on Prince Albert use some of the casino money to stir up the ATP or charge them tax on their office on Monegasque soil.

Byrd
04-09-2007, 03:05 PM
What do you expect when 110 years of the tournament are going to go down the drain due to an idiot and his so called 'new formats'.

Action Jackson
04-09-2007, 03:11 PM
Well said Franulovic.

R.Federer
04-09-2007, 03:13 PM
Wow, sounds like Hamburg and Monte Carlo might themselves be colluding on this. Can't expect any different though. I think they have a strong case.

*Ljubica*
04-09-2007, 03:16 PM
Good for them :worship: I hope they win! Thanks for posting the story Raquel.

Sunset of Age
04-09-2007, 03:25 PM
Thanks for posting this!

Both players and tournament organizers have complained that the current ATP management is not representing the best interests of tennis and has not given the players or tournaments a real say in the future of the ATP.

Eat that, Mr. Disney. Way to go, alienating both the players AND the tournament organizers! :mad:

Action Jackson
04-09-2007, 03:29 PM
Funny how it takes something like this for people to wake up and see the ATP is a union that works against its members and not for them. Got to say one thing for Mr. Disney he has created interest, but not always for the right reasons.

Johnny Groove
04-09-2007, 03:44 PM
Yes, lets downgrade 2 TMS events that have over 100 years of tradition for financial reasons. Hopefully Disney gets canned and someone at least halfway competent gets put in charge.

Loremaster
04-09-2007, 03:50 PM
Yeah I totally agree it was right to downgrade Hamburg but why Monte Carlo it was one of the best tourneys on tour with great tradition and to make something new insted is totally stupid and don't see sense in downgrading it cos it would change nothing to stay with 9TMS with Monte Carlo staying as TMS with some new event in Asia

Deboogle!.
04-09-2007, 03:56 PM
Wow, sounds like Hamburg and Monte Carlo might themselves be colluding on this. Can't expect any different though. I think they have a strong case.I don't understand why they didn't sue together. I can see the ATP moving to have the cases condensed, which they probably should be - since all the same legal issues will be in question and they were filed in the same court.

mind you i have looked almost every day for the hamburg complaint and still can't find it.

Andre♥
04-09-2007, 04:00 PM
Monte Carlo is the best MS tournament. And I hate clay...

Merton
04-09-2007, 04:24 PM
Let the fireworks begin! This is a sign that things have moved past behind-closed-doors discussion, it will get more interesting given that Monte Carlo hosts the European ATP headquarters they can generate some additional heat for Mr. Disney.

I wonder if this is worth all the trouble just for benefiting Tiriac. We might get more news during the tournament next week.

MaryWalsh
04-09-2007, 04:34 PM
Whether this winds up going to trial or not, I hope the suit causes some rethinking about the ATP's horrible new plans for professional mens tennis. Go Monte Carlo!

croat123
04-09-2007, 05:10 PM
this is really sad. our sport is being destroyed by fucking mickey mouse

ezekiel
04-09-2007, 05:23 PM
3 clay masters out of 8 is too much so having 2 is about right, in Rome and future one in Madrid if that holds true. Monte Carlo should be on par with Dubai as it is in terms of size of everything else

R.Federer
04-09-2007, 05:38 PM
I don't understand why they didn't sue together. I can see the ATP moving to have the cases condensed, which they probably should be - since all the same legal issues will be in question and they were filed in the same court.



It's possible that Monte Carlo was still trying to work it out with ATP and did not want to ruin their chances by suing, at the time that Hamburg filed. I actually think it's better for each of them and jointly for them, that they filed independently. At least on the outset, in the news, it's two separate cases that ATP has to answer, making it look like "multiple cases" of antitrust abuse by the ATP and putting slightly more pressure on ATP to do something to prevent an outright PR nightmare.

R.Federer
04-09-2007, 05:50 PM
Monte Carlo should be on par with Dubai as it is in terms of size of everything else
What is everything else? Like the 100+ year history and tradition?

Action Jackson
04-09-2007, 05:55 PM
3 clay masters out of 8 is too much so having 2 is about right, in Rome and future one in Madrid if that holds true. Monte Carlo should be on par with Dubai as it is in terms of size of everything else

Did you get sacked from your job as a rodeo clown?

nobama
04-09-2007, 05:56 PM
What is everything else? Like the 100+ year history and tradition?
A number of people here have said that Cincy should be downgraded. Hasn't that tournament been around forever too?

R.Federer
04-09-2007, 05:58 PM
A number of people here have said that Cincy should be downgraded. Hasn't that tournament been around forever too?
By number of people, you mean posters or officials on ATP? Cincy has been around for ever. It plays a part in the series as well. I can only imagine a case being made against it in the sense of "too many Hardcourt TMS", and it being the least prominent one of the Miami/IW/Cincy trio and Toronto/Montreal is safe because it is not in the US I think.

alfonsojose
04-09-2007, 06:13 PM
Go Montecarlo :D

danton
04-09-2007, 06:25 PM
I think things must have gotten really bad if they didn't think they could sort it out without the courts.

I don't like clay but I don't see a problem in having 3 clay MS. I do have a problem with 3 MS being in America. 1/3 of them in 1 country is too much. It's good they have added one in Asia. But everyone likes IW and Miami and Cincinnati works well with the US series.

MrExcel
04-09-2007, 06:30 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/6539411.stm

Monte Carlo organisers to sue ATP



Organisers of the Monte Carlo Masters tournament are suing the ATP Tour over plans to downgrade the event's status. The anti-trust lawsuit follows a similar move by organisers of the Hamburg Masters.


It marks the latest in a series of objections to a restructuring plan being pushed through by the ATP's chairman Etienne de Villiers.


De Villiers wants to restructure the tour to ensure the world's top players play in the most prestigious events.


Madame de Massy, the president of the Monte Carlo tournament committee said: "We are calling upon the ATP's management to listen to the message that the tennis world is sending: stop this plan before it causes real damage to tennis."


Monte Carlo Masters Series tournament director Zeljko Franulovic added: "Today marks a sad day for tennis when we are forced to take legal action against our own representative body."


It is understood around 60 players, including world number one Roger Federer, signed a petition last week against changes to reduce European Masters spring events from three to two. The third event is the Rome Masters.

jazar
04-09-2007, 06:31 PM
canada doesnt need a masters series, take theirs, but leave montecarlo alone

Blue Heart24
04-09-2007, 06:41 PM
Monte Carlo is a great tournament.
If they downgrade it,with Hamburg too,that will be a terrible mistake.We have enough US tournaments already :rolleyes:
A GS and 4 MS's is enough

ezekiel
04-09-2007, 07:01 PM
What is everything else? Like the 100+ year history and tradition?

history is history, this is business. there was a story that MC is not profitable because of the small base so it's downgraded or even worse relocated and no one wants that . Besides it was ridiculous to have 3 masters in one month , that's bad scheduling so I guess they will aim for 2 masters , Rome and Madrid on clay prior to RG.

ezekiel
04-09-2007, 07:02 PM
canada doesnt need a masters series, take theirs, but leave montecarlo alone


Canada is profitable, MC isn't . It' business as usual

R.Federer
04-09-2007, 07:04 PM
Canada is profitable, MC isn't . It' business as usual

Where did you get stats for Canada TMS from? I'm interested in those as well.

ezekiel
04-09-2007, 07:04 PM
Did you get sacked from your job as a rodeo clown?

No but you need to apply for a job of a comedian , Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld have nothing on you :rolleyes: I am sure you'll knock them off the ground :cool: :D :devil:

jazar
04-09-2007, 07:05 PM
Canada is profitable, MC isn't . It' business as usual

no offence, but monte carlo is nicer than canada though

ezekiel
04-09-2007, 07:06 PM
Where did you get stats for Canada TMS from? I'm interested in those as well.

They were breaking attendance records last year , that's all I know
:wavey:

ezekiel
04-09-2007, 07:09 PM
no offence, but monte carlo is nicer than canada though

Hawaii is nicer than London, should we move Wimbledon there ?

LocoPorElTenis
04-09-2007, 07:10 PM
Profitable for who? Obviously the Montecarlo organizers think it's profitable, otherwise they wouldn't be filing a lawsuit to protect its status.

jazar
04-09-2007, 07:12 PM
Hawaii is nicer than London, should we move Wimbledon there ?

thats debatable, hawaii does have its disadvantages

R.Federer
04-09-2007, 07:14 PM
Profitable for who? Obviously the Montecarlo organizers think it's profitable, otherwise they wouldn't be filing a lawsuit to protect its status.

Well no, it is true that MC has had some financial/revenue problems. MC has been on the radar and under scrutiny since late 1990s/early 2000s about renewing its status with ATP. I don't think anyone really paid attention or gave it serious credence until this happened.

Still, even low profits as a TMS is better than zero profits as a non-TMS. But there is more to it, including history, tradition, status, etc. for MC

R.Federer
04-09-2007, 07:18 PM
Hawaii is nicer than London, should we move Wimbledon there ?

Poor analogy. Hawaii never was a Slam. This is about an existing TMS asking that its status be retained. Not about Pilot Pen asking to become a TMS.

jazar
04-09-2007, 07:20 PM
Poor analogy. Hawaii never was a Slam. This is about an existing TMS asking that its status be retained. Not about Pilot Pen asking to become a TMS.

:yeah:

and i bet a higher percentage of the people who live in monte carlo go to the masters series there, than the percentage of canadians who go to montreal or toronto

Scotso
04-09-2007, 07:29 PM
:rocker2:

uglyamerican
04-09-2007, 08:04 PM
This story is getting more publicity than the Hamburg case. I am guessing that the real aim of the lawsuits is to give Devilliers a black eye, or try to get him to back down before he appears to have no control over the situation.

ezekiel
04-09-2007, 08:11 PM
Profitable for who? Obviously the Montecarlo organizers think it's profitable, otherwise they wouldn't be filing a lawsuit to protect its status.

For ATP obviously, they run a business after all or they should be :rolleyes:

ezekiel
04-09-2007, 08:15 PM
thats debatable, hawaii does have its disadvantages

rain in London or beach palms in Waikiki ?

ezekiel
04-09-2007, 08:18 PM
:yeah:

and i bet a higher percentage of the people who live in monte carlo go to the masters series there, than the percentage of canadians who go to montreal or toronto

and what does that matter for ATP ? :rolleyes:

jazar
04-09-2007, 08:24 PM
and what does that matter for ATP ? :rolleyes:

it matters to the monagasques

CyBorg
04-10-2007, 12:17 AM
Sue Mr. Disney's pants off. I hope he chokes.

CyBorg
04-10-2007, 12:18 AM
no offence, but monte carlo is nicer than canada though

I like that you're defending MC, but Canada is quite nice. At worst nicer than Cincinnati (what isn't?)

Via
04-10-2007, 12:24 AM
Monte Carlo Masters Series Tournament Director Zeljko Franulovic (himself a former winner of the Tournament) added: "Today marks a sad day for tennis when we are forced to take legal action against our own representative body to prevent it from destroying more than 100 years of tennis history in pursuit of its own financial goals -- and at the expense of fans, players, tournaments, and sponsors."

well said indeed. the scope of destruction could possibly include most of the other 'disney inventions' like RR.

what i'm not sure i understand, is - what is there for the atp to gain, if "fans, players, tournaments, and sponsors" don't stand to gain anything :confused: ???

ezekiel
04-10-2007, 01:12 AM
it matters to the monagasques


this is business , they follow the money , case closed :wavey:

Deboogle!.
04-10-2007, 04:37 AM
I like that you're defending MC, but Canada is quite nice. At worst nicer than Cincinnati (what isn't?)As far as I'm aware, Cincinnati is one of the most profitable of all. Talking about percentage of populations and what place is "nicer" and all that jazz is 100% irrelevant to a tournament retaining its status. It's about profitability and China compared to the problems it sounds like Monte Carlo and Hamburg have financially IS no comparison. As for the traditions, it's too bad indeed, I do enjoy watching MC every year and I think that considering the conditions and surface speed, it is actually a valuable and relevant warmup for RG (unlike Hamburg, for instance), it's definitely too bad. But surely it is not the first tournament with tradition to get downgraded/moved/removed completely.

As was discussed in the Hamburg thread, it's hard to see a US court ruling in favor of the tourneys for the simple reason that it is a bad move for public policy because of the importance of very restrictive league sports, that have long traditions of putting all kinds of limitations on their teams/outfits/even players (salary caps, alllllllll that stuff).

My guess is the more likely reasoning for all this is the same as the doubles suit - they never actually wanted to go to court, they just wanted to force the ATP to the negotiating table. and in that sense, it will probably work.

soraya
04-10-2007, 05:41 AM
Monte Carlo is the best MS tournament. And I hate clay...

Agree, a great panorama and glamore fit for a tennis tourney. On another note, that will leave Rome for the RG prep?

CyBorg
04-10-2007, 06:49 AM
As far as I'm aware, Cincinnati is one of the most profitable of all. Talking about percentage of populations and what place is "nicer" and all that jazz is 100% irrelevant to a tournament retaining its status. It's about profitability and China compared to the problems it sounds like Monte Carlo and Hamburg have financially IS no comparison. As for the traditions, it's too bad indeed, I do enjoy watching MC every year and I think that considering the conditions and surface speed, it is actually a valuable and relevant warmup for RG (unlike Hamburg, for instance), it's definitely too bad. But surely it is not the first tournament with tradition to get downgraded/moved/removed completely.

As was discussed in the Hamburg thread, it's hard to see a US court ruling in favor of the tourneys for the simple reason that it is a bad move for public policy because of the importance of very restrictive league sports, that have long traditions of putting all kinds of limitations on their teams/outfits/even players (salary caps, alllllllll that stuff).

My guess is the more likely reasoning for all this is the same as the doubles suit - they never actually wanted to go to court, they just wanted to force the ATP to the negotiating table. and in that sense, it will probably work.

I didn't bring up niceness. Someone else did.

The Canada Masters is certainly in superb shape financially. It gets good crowds and Ted Rogers is in charge of it. And, if anyone cares, the locations are nice enough.

Action Jackson
04-10-2007, 06:52 AM
I didn't bring up niceness. Someone else did.

The Canada Masters is certainly in superb shape financially. It gets good crowds and Ted Rogers is in charge of it. And, if anyone cares, the locations are nice enough.

I don't see any reason for the Canadian Open to be culled, it's not like Canada has an oversupply of events as it is and from all reports they run the event very well and aren't losing money.

Deboogle!.
04-10-2007, 02:34 PM
I didn't bring up niceness. Someone else did.oh, I know. i was just speaking in general, that this whole discussion about niceness and percentage of populations and all that is completely irrelevant to anything that matters :lol:

Merton
04-10-2007, 02:55 PM
As far as I'm aware, Cincinnati is one of the most profitable of all.

Opportunity cost. It doesn't matter whether Cinci is profitable, if the ATP would generate more profits by holding the event in Chicago at the same time, then by holding the event in Cinci it misses out on the Chicago revenues. Now don't get me wrong, I like Cinci but if things are so simple as a single period profit maximization that would lead to more radical changes than just taking out Monte Carlo.

Talking about percentage of populations and what place is "nicer" and all that jazz is 100% irrelevant to a tournament retaining its status. It's about profitability and China compared to the problems it sounds like Monte Carlo and Hamburg have financially IS no comparison.

The relevant comparison is not between China and Monte Carlo/Hamburg but between China and Madrid/Bercy. There is no doubt that moving an AMS event to China is a good move, there are already tournaments in the area to build upon, just downgrade one of the European masters tournaments.

As for the traditions, it's too bad indeed, I do enjoy watching MC every year and I think that considering the conditions and surface speed, it is actually a valuable and relevant warmup for RG (unlike Hamburg, for instance), it's definitely too bad. But surely it is not the first tournament with tradition to get downgraded/moved/removed completely..

There is something difficult to quantify within the tradition, yet highly relevant when one properly considers profitability. That is, a good tradition provides an implicit guarantee of continuity for an evenet. Lets get back to the Chicago example. Suppose that some financiers get a proposal that guarantess an extra $1 of profit to the ATP compared to Cinci. Should the ATP move to Chicago? No. The new financiers might default, the event might fail for reasons beyond their fault, and so on.

As was discussed in the Hamburg thread, it's hard to see a US court ruling in favor of the tourneys for the simple reason that it is a bad move for public policy because of the importance of very restrictive league sports, that have long traditions of putting all kinds of limitations on their teams/outfits/even players (salary caps, alllllllll that stuff).

My guess is the more likely reasoning for all this is the same as the doubles suit - they never actually wanted to go to court, they just wanted to force the ATP to the negotiating table. and in that sense, it will probably work.

I am not getting there, you are the legal expert :lol: All I see for the moment is that the ATP moves in favour of a specific organizer (Tiriac) and against traditional organizers. I have not even see any specific figures for the financials but I am sure that things are far from simple and I ask myself a simple question: Do I trust the current ATP management in terms of competence to rest assured that they are calculations are correct and their decisions will be taken to the best of the sport? NO.

MisterQ
04-10-2007, 03:07 PM
Hawaii is nicer than London, should we move Wimbledon there ?

Nah, I hate lava delays...

Kitty de Sade
04-10-2007, 03:37 PM
Nah, I hate lava delays...

:lol: Nice...:yeah:

Action Jackson
04-11-2007, 03:29 AM
All I see for the moment is that the ATP moves in favour of a specific organizer (Tiriac) and against traditional organizers. I have not even see any specific figures for the financials but I am sure that things are far from simple and I ask myself a simple question: Do I trust the current ATP management in terms of competence to rest assured that they are calculations are correct and their decisions will be taken to the best of the sport? NO.

That is pretty much what it comes down to is that Mr. Disney is the puppet and is in Tiriac's pocket. I mean it was Tiriac that came out with the comment "I have been ready for Round Robin for 30 years", then of course Disney blindly follows this.

Well the current management like they have previously doesn't work with or for the players interests, in most cases it works against them and for the tournament directors.