For folks on the market who love professional golf and wish one of the best of one of the best competing in opposition to one another each week, you higher hope Donald Trump is your subsequent president, and it’s not simply because the former president is such a golf fanatic.
It’s due to the kind of regulatory equipment he’ll set up if elected, a free-market one that may greenlight the much-needed merger of the PGA Tour and the upstart LIV Golf league. Sure, the nonsensical hatred of all issues M&A by the leftists within the Biden administration has been horrible for US companies and the economic system. It additionally may maim skilled golf.
As golf aficionados know, LIV was created as a competitor to the PGA to offer followers what they need — extra golf and in numerous codecs, together with shorter tournaments. It has been utilizing Saudi cash (it’s owned by the Saudis’ sovereign wealth fund referred to as PIF) to steal gamers like Phil Mickelson and others, inflicting sufficient of a ruckus within the sport that the PGA now needs to merge.
So does LIV; both leagues agree that golf fans simply want to see big-name stars competing against each other in these tournaments. It’s the identical logic behind the merger of the previous NFL teaming up with the newly established AFL within the Sixties when the latter confirmed it may compete with the massive guys and had the cash to draw gridiron expertise.
The NFL has exploded through the years because the nation’s hottest sport; it’s a $19 billion-a-year enterprise. The PGA brings in about $2 billion a yr and with the Saudis as companions there’s positively room to develop, so lately each events set a 2024 deadline to work out the small print.
Case closed, proper? Not so quick. The no-brainers within the Biden antitrust orbit began getting concerned — and like all issues touched by Sleepy Joe’s minions, widespread sense is now taking a again seat to politics.
Mixture in peril
The union of the 2 golf leagues is now on “life assist,” based on two attorneys immediately concerned within the merger. The Biden hacks assume one league as an alternative of two may violate some odd studying of antitrust legal guidelines, probably limiting the power of millionaire golfers to chop offers for more cash. Unusual, I at all times thought antitrust legal guidelines have been supposed to guard customers, who clearly desire a merger as a result of they need to see prime golfers sq. off.
On prime of that, the PGA is doing enterprise with the Saudis, a key ally within the treacherous Center East that the left hates for civil-rights abuses.
OK, I’m not right here to defend the homicide of Jamal Khashoggi. However the place is the left in condemning all these nations that every time the UN meets cheer on Hamas’ bloodbath of harmless Israelis?
Stated one in all my sources: “You’d assume this merger is inevitable as a result of folks need to see one of the best in opposition to one of the best in golf. However all bets are off with this administration.”
Full disclosure: The closest I’ve ever gotten to a golf course was a summer time job landscaping one in Westchester County, NY, again within the day. However I do know a factor or two concerning the confluence of politics and finance. So I can see how the PGA-LIV deal each makes monetary sense and matches neatly into the Biden administration’s illogical antitrust vortex of offers that both get killed or have to be fought within the courts, which is at all times a crapshoot.
Recall how the administration’s wickedly left-wing FTC chief Lina Khan opposed — unsuccessfully — Microsoft’s buy of Activision Blizzard as a result of she claimed Microsoft might need monopoly management over the least controllable a part of the economic system, the enterprise of gaming that’s pushed by the improvements of tech-savvy entrepreneurs on a regular basis.
The Biden Justice Division is obstructing the JetBlue-Spirit merger as a result of it says there must be extra competitors out there for the low cost airline enterprise. OK, however some Wall Road analysts say Spirit may face cash-flow points within the subsequent yr or so. A chapter would routinely go away much less room for competitors.
Cohen takes a $wing
Seeing what the Bidenistas have performed to regular deal-making, the PGA isn’t taking any probabilities, I’m informed. It lately sought and obtained a large infusion of money from Steve Cohen, the hedge fund billionaire proprietor of the New York Mets, and one other baseball billionaire, John Henry, who owns the Boston Crimson Sox, to strengthen its recruiting hand simply in case it has to compete in opposition to LIV for the foreseeable future, and longer if sleepy Joe will get re-elected.
Biden has performed some horrible issues in workplace: The botched Afghanistan withdrawal; the disaster on the border; pointless spending that stoked inflation. Now his administration trying to decimate the enjoyment of watching skilled golf.