Updated May 3 with USA Swimming statement
SANTA ANA, California, April 29. NEARLY two months since coming close to ending TYR's anti-trust lawsuit against Speedo, USA Swimming and Mark Schubert, Judge James V. Selna concluded the case by ruling against TYR with a final ruling that is yet to be made public. TYR did not dispute the tentative ruling earlier this week allowing for it to become final in civil court.
TYR issued the following statement to Swimming World:
"The court's ruling is the latest stage in a long legal process. TYR's attorneys will continue to pursue the matter through the appropriate legal channels. TYR is encouraged by the Court's recognition of the fact that some of the conduct engaged in by the Defendants was legally actionable. While TYR disagrees with the Court's conclusion that the wrongful acts did not have a sustained impact on the market, it is optimistic that bringing attention to the conduct will contribute to greater transparency within USA Swimming and will bring about fundamental change to the benefit of the sport."
USA Swimming also issued a statement several days after our initial report:
We have maintained throughout that the case brought against USA Swimming by TYR was without merit, and we are pleased that the court has confirmed that with its ruling today. This case has represented a significant drain on USA Swimming's resources, and has diverted both finances and thousands of hours away from serving our 300,000 members. We are very glad that we can now return our focus and resources to where they belong — to doing what is best for the sport of swimming.
In the tentative ruling acquired by Swimming World, Judge Selna approved motions for summary judgment in favor of Speedo, USA Swimming and Mark Schubert on the remaining claims for relief asserted against it by TYR. Meanwhile, TYR's motion for reconsideration was denied.
On March 3, the Court originally granted in part and denied in part Speedo, USA Swimming and Mark Schubert's motions for summary judgment. Read Swimming World's complete report from that part of the case here.
The claims that moved forward from that March 3 ruling were assertions regarding Federal and State Antitrust Claims. Two other claims regarding anti-competition state law issues moved forward from the March 3 ruling because they were inextricably linked to the Federal and State Antitrust Claims. Once the Federal and State Antitrust Claims failed, the other anti-competition state law issues fell.
The Federal and State Antitrust Claims were assertions by TYR that Speedo made false claims to swimmers to keep them from purchasing TYR products, and that Speedo's claims were supported by an anti-competitive agreement between Speedo and USA Swimming. TYR also claimed that Mark Schubert, while acting as the National Team Head Coach and General Manager of USA Swimming, made statements to national team members and to the press supporting the Speedo LZR Racer.
"Because TYR has not provided evidence from which a reasonable jury could infer a ‘significant and enduring adverse impact on competition,' the Defendants are entitled to summary judgment on the Sherman Act claims," Judge Selna ruled in relation to the Federal and State Antitrust Claims. "Additionally, no triable issue of fact exists as to whether Schubert's ‘continued for a prolonged period.' Therefore, TYR cannot overcome the presumption that Schubert's statements had only a de minimis effect* on competition and the Defendants are entitled to summary judgment on that ground as well."
* Editor's note: de minimis effect in layman's terms in this instance means that if Schubert's statements had any effect, it was so small that the court would not feel the need to consider it.