As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the PGA Tour scored a point in its legal dispute before the District Court of Northern California.
Pga Tour, situation
Judge Susan Van Keulen ruled that the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund (PIF) and its director, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, can be called to testify and produce documents pertaining to the appeal, granting the request of the PGA Tour lawyers.
You thus invalidate the thesis supported by the pool of lawyers of LIV Golf, according to which the Fund and its director were entitled to enjoy the same immunity due to a sovereign State. The decision is contained in a document dated February 9, which remained confidential until last Tuesday, when it was included in a group of documents made public.
The Court justified the decision by arguing that the Fund’s activity falls within the sphere of commercial activities, and that therefore it cannot enjoy the shield offered by the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act. In doing so, the Judge rejected the argument of the LIV lawyers, which attributes to the PIF the role of “simple investor”, underlining instead the fact that it is clear that the Sovereign Fund is “the driving force behind the creation, capitalization , the supervision and management of LIV Golf”.
The Court’s decision also rejected, de facto, the motion presented, again by the LIV lawyers, which defined the specific request of the opposing lawyers as a mere attempt to indefinitely delay the process of the appeal for violation of the antitrust rules.
At this point, it is almost certain that LIV lawyers will appeal the Court’s decision. The PGA Tour is an organization that curates major professional golf tours in the United States. It is based in Ponte Vedra Beach, a suburb of Jacksonville, Florida.
The PGA Tour became its own organization in 1968, when it split from the PGA of America, which is now primarily an association of golf professionals, such as instructors and club managers. Tournament players first formed their own organization, the Association of Professional Golfers (APG).
Later, in 1968, the players abolished the APG and agreed to operate as the PGA “Tournament Players Division”, a fully autonomous division of the PGA, overseen by a new 10-member Tournament Policy Board. The name then officially changed to “PGA Tour” in 1975.
In 1981, it had a marketing dispute with the PGA of America and decided to officially change its name. From the end of August of that year it becomes “TPA Tour”, which stands for “Tournament Players Association”. The dispute was resolved within seven months and the name of the tour reverted to being “PGA Tour” in March 1982.
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