Reprinted from Variety by Dave McNary on November 14, 2019.
The antitrust suit filed by Hollywood’s major agencies against the Writers Guild of America has been set for a January 17 hearing.
US District Court Judge Andre Birotte issued the calendar update this week on the litigation, filed on September 27 by CAA, UTA and WME after the agencies consolidated their individual agency suits. The action accuses the WGA of abusing its collective bargaining authority by ordering its members to fire their agents and engaging in an unlawful “power grab.”
The guild filed last month for a dismissal of the antitrust suit and sought a December 6 hearing. The WGA asserted in that filing that an antitrust claim fails because the guilds’ conduct is “fully protected” by the labor exemption in federal antitrust law.
The WGA and the major agencies have been at war for seven months. The guild directed its 15,000 members to fire their agents on April 12 if the agents had not signed the WGA Code of Conduct, which bars the agencies from collecting packaging fees and engaging in affiliate production. …