NBA Facing DOJ Investigation Over Alleged Anticompetitive Actions Against Big3


The National Basketball Association (NBA) is currently under investigation by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) for alleged anticompetitive behavior aimed at Ice Cube’s Big3 basketball league. The NBA, however, denies these allegations.

Key Takeaway

The NBA is under scrutiny by the DOJ due to allegations of anticompetitive actions aimed at hindering the growth of Ice Cube’s Big3 basketball league. The investigation will determine whether the NBA violated antitrust laws, which could result in substantial consequences for the league.

DOJ Examining Anticompetitive Claims

The inquiry into the NBA’s actions was launched by the DOJ several months ago. The investigation focuses on accusations of anticompetitive behavior by the NBA, with the intention of stifling the growth of Ice Cube’s Big3 league. Allegations include claims that the NBA used its influence to discourage sponsors and potential partners from doing business with the Big3, as well as pressuring television networks to avoid broadcasting Big3 games.

The Rise of the Big3

The Big3, founded by Ice Cube and business partner Jeff Kwatinetz in 2017, is a 3-on-3 basketball league composed primarily of retired NBA players. Despite the NBA and Big3 seasons not overlapping, the NBA allegedly implemented arbitrary rules to prevent current players from participating in the Big3 during the offseason. This move has sparked frustration among Big3 officials, who believe they have been unfairly targeted by the NBA.

Potential Implications and NBA Response

If the DOJ investigation ultimately finds that the NBA has violated antitrust laws, the league could potentially face a significant fine. However, when questioned about the allegations, NBA spokesman Mike Bass dismissed them, stating that the claims of interference and pressure on potential Big3 partners are untrue. Bass further clarified that while the NBA has shown support for the Big3, it has chosen not to invest in the league.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Big3 declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.