San Jose appeals antitrust ruling against MLB

The city of San Jose filed a federal appeal Wednesday of its case to bring the Oakland Athletics to the South Bay, originally dismissed a year ago.

Last year’s ruling brought the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1922 into play, which Major League Baseball is exempt from. San Jose argues in its brief the exemption is “outdated” and a “highly questionable precedent.” It claims MLB has violated antitrust laws.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte of San Jose dismissed the antitrust claims last year. His decision upheld the San Francisco Giants’ territorial claim, which gives the team rights to the South Bay.

San Jose has petitioned the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to end any federal antitrust exemptions MLB has.

Attorney Joe Cotchett, who represents San Jose in the case, said:

“In today‚Äôs day and age, when competitors operate in the marketplace, they cannot divide up a territory.”

The appeal is pending. MLB’s response is due by April 4. Then the city has the option of filing a final reply by April 18.

San Jose told the court it is urgent to resolve the case quickly. An option held by the A’s club to purchase land for a stadium in San Jose expires Nov. 8.