The NFL and its teams are seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed by AT&Ts and TMobile that claims the two wireless carriers improperly sold the telephone poles on which the league’s teams are based for use by other wireless carriers, including Sprint and Verizon.
The suit, filed by NFL players and owners in Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeks to have the court dismiss the lawsuit.
In addition, it seeks the dismissal of the suit against the NFL by the NFL and the NFL Players Association.
The NFLPA and the players’ union are arguing that the lawsuit is without merit because the defendants do not have a claim to the telephone pole in question and the plaintiffs cannot show a likelihood of success on their claim.
In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs argue that the defendants violated the antitrust laws by selling the telephone line and that the plaintiffs are entitled to use the pole in the stadium, a point that the NFLPA disputes.
The plaintiffs, the NFL, and the teams also contend that the phone poles, which are leased from Verizon and owned by Verizon, are not subject to competition from other wireless companies and therefore cannot be considered a “substantial” element of competition in violation of antitrust law.
The lawsuit contends that the telephone and telephone pole sale were part of a scheme to induce AT&ts to sell its wireless network for $700 million to AT&s.
The plaintiffs also argue that Verizon and Tmobile engaged in a conspiracy to avoid competition in the telecommunications industry.
The companies say they purchased the telephone lines in 2009 for $40 million and are leasing them to Verizon, TMobile and other wireless providers.
The lawsuit says AT&t was a sole seller of the telephone service for at least the next five years.
The complaint argues that the parties “engaged in a concerted conspiracy to conceal the true ownership of the telecommunications assets, thereby preventing the NFL from obtaining the telephone property and thereby depriving the NFL of a substantial market share.”
The lawsuit seeks to invalidate the antitrust claims against the defendants and seeks a permanent injunction against the parties.
The Los Angeles Times obtained a copy of the lawsuit on Monday.
The league declined to comment on the lawsuit when reached by telephone on Tuesday.
The defendants did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday afternoon.