Judge orders to keep sealed most Tour, PIF, LIV docs

Judge orders to keep sealed most Tour, PIF, LIV docs
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A U.S. District Court judge issued a detailed ruling Thursday that keeps sealed most of the documents filed in the antitrust and counterclaim cases between the PGA Tour, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and LIV Golf.

The New York Times attempted to unseal the documents – specifically the Shareholders’ Agreement between LIV Golf and the PIF, which owns 93 percent of the breakaway circuit, according to court filings – in June, but Judge Beth Labson Freeman ruled that most of the documents should remain sealed.

“Having reviewed the statements in support of sealing, the court finds good cause to grant the redactions, which are narrowly tailored to avoid competitive or privacy harms,” Labson Freeman ruled.

The Times originally filed a motion to unseal most of the discovery in the antitrust case that was brought against the Tour by a group of players who had joined the breakaway circuit in 2022. After The Times narrowed the scope of what it wanted unsealed the court issued its line-by-line ruling.

The antitrust and counterclaim cases were dismissed with prejudice in June as part of the framework agreement between the Tour, PIF, LIV Golf and European tour. Negotiations are ongoing between the Tour and PIF to create a for-profit entity that would include both LIV Golf and the Tour.

Labson Freeman ruled that, “LIV Golf may file an administrative motion to maintain under seal any document for which the court denied LIV Golf’s sealing request.” The ruling also required the rival circuit “shall file on the public docket … all documents not included in an administrative motion to maintain under seal.”

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