NEW YORK, JUNE 27 -- The PGA Tour, a $400 million to $500 million industry, is the subject of a Federal Trade Commission investigation because of possible "unfair methods of competition," a published report says.
Golf organizers, sponsors, players and TV executives will all be asked to testify before the FTC, which will then decide whether to take action against professional golf, today's issue of Brandweek Magazine reports.
According to Brandweek, a letter from FTC attorney Deborah Klein to one organizer confirms the investigation.
"Specifically, we're focusing on the competitive effects of the PGA Tour's conflicting events and television release rules," the letter said. "We're also interested in whether PGA Tour has ever sought or received rights fee payments for events such as yours."
The FTC notice also points out that no judgment has been made.
PGA Commissioner Timothy Finchem on Sunday told the Florida Times-Union he was aware of the investigation, and frustrated that it hasn't ended.
"We went to them six months ago and asked them to finish up, either to take action or not," Finchem told the Jacksonville newspaper. "They are continuing with their interviews, but it's the same thing that started in the spring of 1990. It's been four years now. We would like for them to get it done, but you can't tell a federal agency what to do."