Fusion Elite All Stars et al. v. Varsity Brands, LLC et al., Case No. 2:20-cv-02600-SHL-cgc (W.D. Tenn.)
Victoria Sims, Katherine Van Dyck and CGL have been appointed Co-Lead Counsel in an antitrust case in the Western District of Tennessee, brought on behalf of All Star Cheer gyms, parents and other direct purchasers against Varsity Brands, Varsity Spirit, LLC and Varsity Spirit and Fashion Supplies, LLC. The plaintiffs are suing Varsity for monopolizing the All Star Cheer Competition and All Star Apparel markets, in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, and colluding with co-Defendant U.S. All Star Federation, Inc. (“USASF”), the governing body of All Star Cheer, to effectuate the monopolistic scheme.
CGL represents gyms and parents all over the country who paid inflated entry fees for All Star Cheer competitions and inflated prices for All Star Apparel, including competition uniforms. The Varsity Defendants’ ruthless acquisition scheme, coercive exclusive dealing provisions, and regulatory capture of USASF have resulted in gyms’ and parents’ paying supracompetitive prices for these products. As documented in many sources, including USA Today, the All Star Cheer community has long suffered Varsity’s relentless attacks on its competitors and its coercion of gyms into exclusive- or nearly-exclusive contracts. Many gyms have been forced to purchase uniforms only from Varsity and attend only Varsity competitions. This has led to a significant reduction in quality and increase in prices in this youth sport, whose expenses have become too high for many gyms and parents to bear. This lawsuit seeks justice for gyms and parents who wish to see the sport move in a new direction and to see competition return to the All Star universe, making the sport safe and affordable for its youth participants once more.
On August 26, 2021, the Hon. Sheryl H. Lipman denied in full the Varsity Defendants’ and USASF’s Motions to Dismiss Plaintiffs’ Complaint, stating that “the Court finds that they have stated claims for both monopolization and conspiracy to monopolize under the Sherman Act.” Case 2:20-cv-02600-SHL-cgc, Doc. No. 141.