FTC Closes Investigation of UFC Parent Company Zuffa

By Mike Whitman Feb 1, 2012
The Federal Trade Commission has officially closed its ongoing investigation into the business dealings of Ultimate Fighting Championship parent company Zuffa, LLC.

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition began its nonpublic investigation of the company last year following Zuffa’s acquisition of Explosion Entertainment, the parent company of Strikeforce -- then the UFC’s biggest competitor.

According to a letter sent from FTC Secretary Donald S. Clark to Zuffa attorney Stephen Axinn, the FTC conducted the investigation to determine whether the acquisition violated either Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which discusses deceptive or unfair business practices, or Section 7 of the Clayton Act, which addresses monopolies.

“Upon further review of this matter, it now appears that no further action is warranted by the Commission at this time. Accordingly, the investigation has been closed,” Clark wrote. “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. The Commission reserves the right to take such further action as the public interest may require.”

Zuffa acquired Strikeforce and the promotion’s fighter roster last March. Since the purchase, three of Strikeforce’s five male champions made successful UFC debuts, as Nick Diaz, Dan Henderson and Alistair Overeem all earned Octagon victories last year. Currently, only lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez and middleweight titleholder Luke Rockhold hold Strikeforce gold, while titles in three weight categories remain vacant.

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