The Department of Justice wants to make arguments at a Dec. 6 hearing in a antitrust lawsuit between the three major talent agencies and the Writers Guild of America.
The WGA has filed a motion to dismiss the agencies’ lawsuit on the grounds that, as a labor union, it is exempt from antitrust scrutiny. U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte is expected to consider that motion at the Dec. 6 hearing.
The DOJ’s Antitrust Division intervened in the case on Tuesday, filing a brief that argues that the union does not have blanket immunity from antitrust law. The division, led by Makan Delrahim, wants Birotte to order discovery in the case to determine whether the union has committed an antitrust violation.
The department filed a request on Wednesday to appear in person and participate in the hearing. The three agencies who are plaintiffs in the case — WME, CAA and UTA — do not object to the department’s presence.
The guild, on the other hand, has told DOJ that it will oppose the request. It is unclear whether the judge will have to hold a hearing on whether to permit the DOJ to participate.
The guild blasted the the DOJ’s intervention in the case on Tuesday, saying it was no surprise that the Trump administration would seek to undermine a union.