NCAA v. Alston: The Supreme Court has a chance to save joint venture law from the Ninth Circuit

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Regardless of your views about paying college athletes, you should be concerned about the Ninth Circuit’s decision in NCAA v. Alston. In Alston, the Ninth Circuit invalidated the NCAA’s limits on compensation for college athletes, addressing an issue on which reasonable people certainly may disagree. But in reaching its result the court created a rule with far-reaching negative consequences for procompetitive joint ventures and other collaborations. The court distorted the test traditionally used to evaluate conduct under the antitrust laws—the Rule of Reason—in a way that creates uncertainty for any businesses or individuals considering a collaboration. The United States Supreme Court has an opportunity to correct the Ninth’s Circuit’s error.