The PGA Tour and Saudi Public Investment Fund deal has decided to bypass one of the key pillars of its original deal, changing the landscape for pro golfers on the PGA Tour and the LIV Tour.
The two sides agreed on a framework for their partnership in late May which included the provision that they would not be recruiting players from each other.
This included a point on “non-soliciation” which said that the two sides are “not to, directly or indirectly, enter into any contract, agreement or understanding with, solicit, or recruit any players who are members of the other’s tour or organization.”
However, due to an antitrust review by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the sides decided to drop the clause, according to a report by the New York Times.
The two sides reportedly dropped the provision in order to stop the DOJ from intervening further in its activities. This was because the no-poaching agreement would be a threat to the labor market and against federal law.
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LIV Golf offered hundreds of millions of dollars to poach stars away from the PGA Tour in the past. The Saudi-backed league successfully lured stars like Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, and Dustin Johnson with some signing bonuses reportedly worth upwards of $100 million.
The now abandoned provision was supposed to put a stop to luring as the Saudi PIF and PGA Tour figured out the next steps to its plan.
The framework agreement between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and PIF. pic.twitter.com/utQK0JefYV
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) June 27, 2023