Economists Request DoJ Investigate Anti-competitive Aspects of the BCS

EMERYVILLE, April 12, 2011 – Twenty-one economists and sport management and antitrust experts today sent a letter to Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney, requesting that the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice launch a formal investigation of college football’s Bowl Championship Series (BCS).  These experts, including Dan Rascher and Andy Schwarz of OSKR, explain how the BCS harms competition by restraining output, fixing prices, reducing quality, and cartelizing previously independent Bowls as a means of blocking the emergence of rival post-season systems, such as a playoff.  As a result of these anti-competitive aspects of the BCS, consumers receive a lower quality, more expensive college football post-season.

The entire letter is available here:\pdf\lettertodoj04122011.pdf

See also the Wall Street Journal coverage, including a quote from Dan Rascher.

UPDATE: On May 3, 2011, Deputy Attorney General Christine Varney sent a letter to the NCAA indicating a willingness to open an investigation of the BCS system, citing to the “twenty-one professors” letter that included Dan Rascher and Andy Schwarz. See it here:

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