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XFL and USFL’s Legal Gauntlet: The Path to Merger Approval

Football fans are buzzing with the news that the XFL and USFL have entered the preliminary stages of a merger. But before this gridiron dream becomes a reality, there are a series of legal obstacles that both leagues must navigate. This article delves into the nuances of the legal processes and hurdles standing in the way.

The Regulatory Labyrinth: Where Are We Now?

The USFL recently communicated that it has “agreed to terms with the XFL’s ownership group and recently submitted the necessary filings of the proposed merger. The Regulatory review process is underway and does not come with any guaranteed outcomes.” This statement indicates that both leagues are in the midst of the federal regulatory process. This review involves multiple agencies and is known for its complexity and unpredictability.

Key Points:

  • The Regulatory Slog: The quote “Subject to customary regulatory approvals” from the press release implies a maze of potential federal scrutiny.
  • Public Company Complexities: Fox’s status as a publicly traded company adds layers of disclosure and shareholder considerations.
  • Union Involvement: The existence of a USFL players union could be a deal-breaker, or at least a significant point of negotiation.

The Role of NLRB and FTC

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is likely to play a significant role due to the existence of the USFL players union. They will scrutinize the merger to ensure that labor practices and union negotiations are above board. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will look into antitrust considerations. Both of these agencies could either approve, conditionally approve with modifications, or deny the merger.

Government Shutdown: A Potential Roadblock?

A looming government shutdown could throw a wrench into the works by halting or delaying the regulatory review process. Such a shutdown would result in non-essential federal agencies, potentially including the NLRB and FTC, temporarily ceasing operations. This would inevitably prolong the timeline for the merger’s approval, adding an extra layer of uncertainty to an already complex situation.

The Public Eye: Fox’s Unique Position

Being a publicly traded company, Fox brings an additional set of challenges to the merger. It has to consider shareholder interests and meet disclosure requirements set by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The public nature of the company may either accelerate or slow down the merger depending on shareholder sentiment and legal obligations.

The proposed merger between the XFL and the USFL is far from a done deal. Multiple agencies, public shareholders, and unionized players all have a say in this complicated affair. As fans hold their collective breath, the leagues are working behind the scenes to clear the legal hurdles that lie ahead. The journey is fraught with challenges, but if successful, it could reshape the landscape of Spring football as we know it.

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Mark Perry, a devoted sports journalist and founder of XFL News Hub, has been a key figure in XFL coverage since its 2018 revival. Launching XFL News Hub soon after the league's return announcement, Mark has established the platform as a primary source for comprehensive XFL updates. Renowned for his in-depth knowledge and commitment to sports journalism, Mark actively engages the XFL community, welcoming interactions at

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. 4th&long

    September 29, 2023 at 9:05 am

    There are no regulatory hurdles here, just formality. This isn’t too dominate business merging or selling to each other like Fox and Disney.

    I see this happening or one league selling IP to the other. I don’t see this being drawn out – does RBC want to burn around $60mm plus just to merge in 2025? If for some strange reason they can’t merge on the field for 2024, expect a scaled down XFL (and possibly USFL) to play in 2024. Otherwise lookout for worse things.

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