Democrats Bankrupt Trump
Two prominent Democratic figures, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ron Wyden, have called on the Justice Department to conduct an investigation into the merger between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, which is backed by Saudi Arabia. The senators argue that this merger potentially violates the Sherman Antitrust Act and could result in high-profile tournaments being held at golf courses owned by Donald Trump.
According to Newsweek, Warren and Wyden express their concern that the agreement would make American golf fans complicit in the Saudi regime’s attempt to whitewash its human rights abuses through financial investment in major sports leagues. As per polling data suggesting that Trump is a leading contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, his close association with LIV Golf has raised speculation that the combined league could host events at venues owned by him. One senior political scientist interviewed by Newsweek described hosting a tour event as a significant achievement for the former president.
In their joint letter addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter, Warren and Wyden highlight their apprehensions about the merger. They argue that the deal appears to have a substantial negative impact on competition, potentially violating several provisions of US antitrust law, regardless of whether it is structured as a merger or a joint venture.
The senators also contend that the proposal would involve a US organization in complicity with the Saudi regime’s efforts to whitewash their human rights abuses by injecting funds into major sports leagues. American golfers and their fans would be inadvertently implicated in this complicity.
Joel Schuchmann, the PGA Tour’s senior vice-president of communications, responded to the concerns, stating that the PGA Tour is confident that once all stakeholders understand how the new venture will be led, they will recognize the benefits for players, fans, and the sport as a whole, while ensuring the protection of the American golfing institution.
Thomas Gift, the head of the Centre on US Politics at University College London, commented on the potential merger, stating that if it leads to Trump hosting a tour event at one of his golf courses, it would be advantageous for him. Such an event would enhance his personal brand and provide yet another opportunity for him to command attention, all while boasting about his successful and top-tier business ventures. Gift views this scenario as a tailor-made campaign event for a politician who has already established strong ties with the sport of golf.