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Federal Trade Commission ends second investigation of UFC

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has closed an investigation of UFC regarding whether "Zuffa, LLC, or any other unnamed persons, partnerships, or corporations have engaged or are engaging in conduct that violates Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act," which holds that "unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce...are...declared unlawful." The Las Vegas Review-Journal was the first to report the story.

This is the second investigation the FTC has conducted regarding the UFC's business practices. The first was held in 2012 and looked into the UFC's acquisition of Strikeforce. Like this most recent investigation, that, too, was closed without any further action being taken.

"This action is not to be construed as a determination that a violation may not have occurred, just as the pendency of an investigation should not be construed as a determination that a violation has occurred," FTC attorney Stuart Hirschfeld in the Northwest Regional Office wrote in a letter to the UFC. "The Commission reserves the right to take such further action as the public interest may require."

"Earlier this year the FTC informed us that it was conducting a non-public investigation, which we believe was instigated by former fighters or their attorneys to bolster a civil action against UFC," Chief Legal Officer Kirk Hendrick said in a statement. "After meeting with the FTC, we are pleased that they have sent us a letter stating that no further action is warranted and the investigation is now closed. We maintain full confidence in our business practices and continue to believe that the plaintiffs' allegations are meritless."

Those former fighters - including Brandon Vera, Nate Quarry, Darren Uyenoyama, Cung Le, Jon FitchKyle Kingsbury and others - launched a class-action, antitrust lawsuit filed that is currently working its way through Nevada District Court. That suit alleges UFC has violated antitrust laws through systemic abuse of power and consolidation of the market to control monopolistic control over the MMA industry.

The FTC's letter to the UFC can be read below.


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