Donald Trump’s LIV ties may fuel antitrust scrutiny in PGA merger

While some golf fans have hailed Donald Trump as the winner of the LIV Golf-PGA Tour merger, on-going concerns that the former president’s ties to the Saudi-backed league could hurt his chances of getting the merger approved.・I found out from the investigation of The Money.

Department of Justice has already is investigating The PGA Tour was battling over a dispute with the LIV before ending a nearly year-long legal battle with a surprising deal on Tuesday.

The LIV accuses the PGA of having an “illegal monopoly” and antitrust experts say new commercial ventures, including Europe-based DP World Tour, do nothing to address those concerns They say they don’t.

“This deal puts an end to competition between organizations, which is exactly what the merger law prevents,” said a former antitrust official who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Nothing was done beforehand to reassure the regulators. This is a very hasty deal and they will be embroiled in lawsuits for months.”

(From left) Dustin Johnson, Scotty Scheffler, and Donald Trump

Final details of the deal are expected to be announced by the end of the year, but are subject to approval by federal regulators with the power to block them.

Another source said Trump’s relationship with LIV, which has hosted events at his golf club, could give Biden administration officials even more incentive to block the merger.

“Biden’s FTC and DOJ will certainly be scrutinizing this deal…especially because of the involvement of the Trump family,” a source told On the Money. “The fact that these LIV tournaments are being held at Trump’s club shows he’s an important person because he pays for this.”

It’s unclear how much the LIV-backed Saudi sovereign wealth fund spent on the Republican frontrunner in the 2024 presidential election.

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) has spent $2 billion on LIV’s launch over the past two years, attracting some of the world’s top players with incredible financial power.

The tour offered Tiger Woods $700 million to $800 million to participate, but he reportedly declined.

The Post previously reported that PIF would take a 20% stake in the as-yet-unnamed new company, but antitrust lawyers were not involved in the PGA-LIV discussions, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. rice field.

“I don’t think there’s a silver bullet. LIV didn’t have outside counsel before the deal was announced, so it’s unlikely there was an actual antitrust review,” said an FTC insider.

Not only are there serious antitrust concerns, but the fact that Saudi money is involved means there are likely CFIUS concerns, the official said. added.

The CFIUS, which has powers to review deals that could allow foreign companies to control U.S. businesses, will likely scrutinize the deals, insiders said.

“This deal violates the nature of competition,” the official added. “On top of that, this is the most aggressive antitrust division in the history of the Justice Department.”

“They wouldn’t allow the Baskins-Robbins merger today,” joked another official.

The relationship between LIV and Trump goes beyond golf. President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner received a $2 billion investment from the PIF.

Trump welcomed the merger on his social media platform, Truth Social, writing, “Great news from LIV Golf. A big, beautiful and compelling deal for the great world of golf. Congrats everyone!! !”

Last year, he predicted that the hot rivals would merge.

“Golfers who remain ‘loyal’ to the highly dishonest PGA in any way will pay a heavy price when the inevitable merger with LIV comes to pass…” Trump said. wrote to

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